Summer has finally shown its true colors at last! After what can only be described as a rather spring-like start of June, the warm sun breached the clouds and has been heating up the city for good. There is no better way than to start it off than with a whole collective of great music. Following a return from a Dave Matthews Band (DMB) show at Jones Beach this week, I had the privilege to meet up with a new band of the same likeness that call themselves, Jutaun.
The trio is among some of the best new musicians out there to enjoy this summer. Their music is perfect for barbeques and beach gatherings. I will admit I was not aware of their talent prior to the interview. Luckily, after jamming to their music for several weeks on end, I could see the raw genius that was apparent with these gentlemen. With that enjoyment of their music in my head, it was an exciting moment to finally meet the men behind the original compositions at hand.
I met up with the New Jersey crew on a hot and sunny day last week and was still waking up from the DMB show the night before. Unfortunately, we did not get home until 1:30 in the morning and had to work the next day! While I may be a young guy, I do not like staying up that late, especially after having a full day in the sun filled with shockingly awesome music. Slowly, I wandered downtown to Big Picture Media’s offices, which have grown since I visited them last. Amidst the busily occupied employees enamored at their computers, I heard the loud chuckling and bustling in the lounge. Lo and behold, the members of Jutaun were all comfortably chatting and eagerly got up to shake my hand as I entered. Also in the room were supporting band members who were all key contributors to our conversation. Right off the bat I could tell these guys enjoyed what they are doing and were having a blast with every new exploration that came their way. We took our seats and began! Oh, and yes, Big Picture Media’s awesome couch is still there!
The key trio consists of hip brothers Jamie and Jake Evans with their ever-enthusiastic colleague Samoeun Cheng. Supporting musicians include Stephen Honsberger, Butch Serianni and Carter Fox. The Evans brothers elaborated on their love for music and how it flourished from their family. “Our dad was a musician and a part of that included music always being played throughout the house.” Jamie and Jake were simply immersed in it all. Samoeun had a similar experience with his stepfather who unleashed his love for music as well. Luck would have it that the Evans brothers would meet up with Samoeun in school and the rest is history. With their shared love for all things music, Jutaun eventually was born.
That day the crew had been extremely busy chatting with other reporters and performing at the Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee Lounge. Dunkin’ Donuts must have good taste because almost every band I have interviewed this spring has spent some time there. While the band will be enjoying their summer with shows here and there, they are most excited for the release of their EP Back To Life set to drop on July 8th. “It will be a transitional EP that brings it all back up. We feel it is a return to some real music, “ shares Stephen. Back to Life seems like it will be a genuine tale of their story and how they have returned to a new music leaf. If any of their past work is testament to their ever growing themes, bring it on. Some of my favorite songs of theirs include By The River and Come Closer.
By The River has a traveling and almost country feel with the acoustic guitar that is peacefully alluring. The Trio share harmonies and sends the listener on a back roads journey. A classic clap of hands and stomping of the feet gets the listener into a sudden groove. Filled with a chorus from what seems to sound like a rolling hills choir, By The River is a tremendously powerful song. There is almost a sense of agony and power that spurs from each of the musicians as they belch out their chorus and share their combined emotions. The blues runs strong within.
Now, Come Closer has a similar harmonic opening in which the trio all hums and sings their way into our heads. What follows is a song that has a Caribbean feel as the jingle and drumming that lights up the room. Dispatch would appreciate this song with the similarities of the harmony and roots feel. With the sense of longing and desire the song grows and grows as the listener closes their eyes and drifts off away.
“There is so much great music out there that you simply cannot get enough,“ remarks Jamie. Hence, the band’s eclectic taste and general appreciation for all of the genres that peak in their tunes. Listeners can find traces of Santana, Teddy Pendergrass and even a little bit of their father’s influence. Jutaun constantly basks in all of the great music that is available to them and loves having it all around. In that spirit, they seem to always be eager to try new things in their music. I imagine, when Back To Life is released, listeners far and wide will have a vast taste of this. I, for one, remain extremely excited for it.
These guys have great music in store and love to keep it as available for live audiences as they can. On that note, they remain eager to perform anywhere that will have them. “We love the festival feel that is full of people with huge amounts of energy, “ says Jamie, “but we also welcome the small coffeehouses that offer a more intimate embrace.” Luckily, Jutaun’s music is perfect for any venue large or small. They hope to travel abroad someday soon for a tour as their understanding is that their is a more open appeal for music in Europe and Asia that will welcome their unique tunes. I agree. Fans new and old will latch onto their music and find that they have something good to hear. Listeners will be sure to keep this music close.
Jutaun are talented musicians all, however, they are still fellas who love a good time. When they are not making tunes or researching the music world, they are actively playing soccer and football. While we bounced around topics ranging from FIFA and to how my love for the Buffalo Bills might be a tragic one, we enjoyed good laughs and free conversation. Summer movies are also on their list as they hope to catch Jurassic World of which should be thrill ride. Our conversation even went so far into the realm of Westeros as we discussed the oddly out of place Sand Snakes and the craziness of Season Five. I wonder what they thought of the finale?
We slowly ended our chat with a closing on how beards can be disgusting. Makes sense I think for a closure. After a group photo and then a fond farewell, we departed and I left with a smile on my face. Make these guys your summer go to music. I promise you will not be disappointed and will be happy to have these tunes running through your ears even on those hot subway rides. This is some great art and need to be enjoyed by many.