Songs from the Tree of Life
In November 2008, New Orleans permanent transplant, Jamie Bernstein formed the band J. The Savage. His experiences living off of the grid in West Virginia during the late 1970s led to a unique world view which he expresses in his original songs. The music created in J. The Savage Band is a careful combination of Jamie's West Virginian mountain music roots, and his love for his home in New Orleans, Louisiana. His lyric driven music is truly Americana combining the deep south roots of jazz, blues and R&B music with the themes and song structures of Jamie's Appalachian childhood. The sound is truly unique and truly American. In November 2009, debut album Tree of Life will be released. Tree of Life features a soon to be New Orleans classic 'Sorry to Say,' an ode to local legends dead and gone. Also, a poignant tribute to those killed on the violent streets of New Orleans titled 'Saint Anna's Wall,' and a sure to be holiday hit 'Black Santa.' Eleven original songs in total, the album takes the song structures of Jamie Bernstein's Appalachian home in West Virginia and combines them with his knowledge, gained over the last fifteen years, of New Orleans R&B. Not light on political undertones, this album contains two anti-war anthems: 'Cajun Boy' and 'Blinders On,' as well as statements of Anti-Racism and Anti-Classicism. While the songs follow a narrative tradition of Appalachian music, the subject matter is modern and often NOLA down. Many describe the album as true New Orleans folk music. Co-Produced by Jamie Bernstein and Ken 'Afro' Williams, Tree of Life features: David Barrard on bass and John Fohl on guitar (Dr. John), Robert 'The Rock' Dabon on piano (Chocolate Milk and Allen Toussaint's Sea Saint Studio), Monroe County, West Virginia Drummer Ricky Bear and Willie 'C'est Bon' Bonham on Mandolin. In addition, the album features guest appearances by Jake Eckert (guitar), James Andrews (trumpet), Corey Henry (trombone), Leslie Smith (Backing vocals), C.R. Gruver (piano) and Ken 'Afro' Williams (percussion).