Those Sanddancers are special breeds aren’t they, even more so musically…..
You can also add blues/grunge musician, Dean James to the list of artists from South Shields who fit that bill.
Perhaps more better known as being the frontman of the dirty Blues-Rock outfit, ‘Dean James and the Black Dogs,’ a critically acclaimed band who’ve been described as “hypnotic, dirty, soulful and beautifully tender,’ the 44-year-old musician has, under the banner of Autumn Records, released an ‘Unplugged EP’ of his own – and it’s stunning.
It seems that, having given up the day job and turned to music full-time, has been of immense benefit to Dean, a grandfather of five, his seven-track solo release being a replacement for what should have been a full band album, but the times of 2020 are a-changing.
Opening a little about his path to music, Dean, who is studying a degree in music performance at South Tyneside College, said: “I spent a good sixteen years as a mental health nurse but really wanted a different path in life, a way out of Nursing.
“However I knew nothing else other than music and through all this (pandemic) I’ve had plenty of time in which to do things.
“I can now sit and write music, plan things properly, and even be able to re-write material I’d done some twenty years ago.
“But everything I have done, and do, I just see it as a stepping stone towards something else, learning and picking up things as you go.”
Having headlined Academy Two, both Cluny One, and Two, as well as performing the main stage at Newcastle’s O2 Academy, Dean has played festivals up-and-down the country, as well as finding a little slice of the good ol’ American pie.
“I love playing music, and particularly original work,” added Dean.
“The intensity of performing in small venues where you can hear a pin drop, or with my band who are a great bunch of session musicians, in the bigger venues.”
Performing what he’s labelled as being ‘blunge’ music, a crossover of blues and grunge, his ‘Unplugged EP’ sees Dean James unleash his “songs of the world, a voyeurism observer with material that was borne in isolation.
“Without it (the pandemic) then the EP wouldn’t have been released at all.”
Consisting of seven tracks, including Summertime, Mother, and Blunge, Dean James’ ‘Unplugged EP’ is available to download now via iTunes, Apple, Amazon and all other download sites.