BARBOZA Presents: Gentleman Jesse and His Men with Gibraltar + Neighbors
Sunday November 11th, 2012
Since Jesse’s first album came out in the summer of 2008, he’s had plenty of excuses to put the “Gentleman” part of his act to bed. In fact, the Mr. Nice Guy routine landed him in bed for a month after being mugged and beaten with a table leg while he was trying to help some strangers change a tire. When the economy shit the bed, violent crime in Atlanta hit home in a big way and really made the city a dreary place to live for a while. In addition, several tragedies strongly affected the Atlanta music scene and the DMR family. It was a bad time and Jesse took it very personally. He seemed close to throwing in the towel and retiring to a dark room with some cheap beer and You Tube videos.
To cope with the reality of living in a place that seemed to be going straight to hell, Jesse went down to the basement of his house and wrote twenty songs that would become Leaving Atlanta. What could have easily become a bummer record ended up being nothing short of inspiring. The record kicks off with “Eat Me Alive”, an anthem of perseverance that Jesse undoubtedly used as a demon-exorcising tool. The album is bookended by another mover titled “We Got To Get Out of Here,” a song that turns out to be less about getting out of an actual location and more about getting out of a state of mind that makes you afraid of it.
Stylistically, Jesse never strays from his bread and butter, which is short, hook driven, and delicately patterned rock n roll songs. We could compare him to Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, or Paul Collins till the cows come home but at this point in his career, Gentleman Jesse sounds like Gentleman Jesse. Leaving Atlanta is Jesse hitting his personal and musical stride.
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