Music

Royal Jelly Jive - "Dear Mr. Waits" (video) (premiere)

Photo: Tom Dellinger

Royal Jelly Jive brings elements from swing and prohibition era jazz into the modern age by blending those sounds with blues, rock and even hip-hop in the groovy bits.

California's Royal Jelly Jive has a name that evokes the 1930s and 1940s, which is ideal in that their music is firmly rooted in the aesthetics of that era, while blending in bluesy rock guitars. Don't mistake the group for just another swing revivalist, however. Royal Jelly Jive brings elements from swing and prohibition era jazz into the modern age by blending those sounds with blues, rock and even hip-hop in the groovy bits. "Dear Mr. Waits" goes more for a straight blues swing and it's an irresistible, slinky, sexy song celebrating the work of fellow Sonoma County resident Tom Waits.

"Tom is one of these eccentric people that lives nearby and who has always done things his way,” says lead singer Lauren Bjelde. "You never know what musical alley he might wander down, and in the song (and our minds) we have fictionalized his character to be larger than life. Tom recorded for a decade at Prairie Sun. Some of his best albums like Mule Variations were recorded at the studio. So, when we had the chance to record there and use the iconic 'Waits Room', we jumped at the opportunity and wanted to offer a nod to his legacy."

Bjelde adds, "Tom Waits and his songs and stories have been a connecting thread to us as musicians in Royal Jelly Jive. He makes the wrong notes sound right and isn't afraid to be dramatically intimate or ferociously brash. That fearlessness has inspired us to go deep down the rabbit hole with our own art. With our song 'Dear Mr. Waits', we wanted to pay homage to the man behind the voice and paint his portrait as the mysterious and intangible legend that he is."

Royal Jelly Jive create exciting musical earworms that can light up a dancefloor or accompany a pleasureful night of gin cocktails. Pick up their new album Stand Up when it releases on June 24th. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, head over to the Independent, where there will be a CD release party that night.


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