“Music that makes you want to experience life to its fullest.”
- The Vail Daily
“Jason Daniels has channeled it all into music totally his own– a blend of rock/soul/blues/jazz/country with a classic Muscle Shoals vibe as its backbone.”
“Daniels has a huge and unique songwriter talent. He creates a world untouched over lost loves, travel and the beautiful American landscape.”
Downloads from the Universe
“Downloads from the Universe is music written for our time”
- Rex McAllister, Radio Free Jackson
“One of the nicest albums in this genre I've heard in the past years. Surprising and so diverse…An album to invest (time) in…It definitely pays off, with great satisfaction guaranteed.”
- Wout de Natris, WoNo Magazine (Netherlands)
"The Jason Daniels Band...delivers music that takes influence from several different genres and offers us an optimistic and positive view, something we can certainly appreciate"
- Michael Doherty, Michael Doherty's Music Log
The Grateful Web
"Breathe, Be, Feel, Learn are the first words of each verse. I was coming from a place of desperation and I needed to raise my own vibration and this song came pouring out to me. It’s really just a list of things I need to remember to remind myself."
Buy the Single "BREATHE" on 6/19 and support racial justice
Bandcamp will be donating 100% of their share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a national organization that has a long history of effectively enacting racial justice and change through litigation, advocacy, and public education. The Jason Daniels Band will donate 100% of their proceeds to @BlackLivesMatterSip Black Lives Matter MS is a civically engaged, youth-led and youth-centered organization dedicated to demanding justice and supporting Black lives in any way possible.
Downloads from the Universe, official release date 07.31.20.
Video filmed in the Midtown Arts District, Jackson MS and produced by https://www.theworksllcjxn.com.
JP's Music Blog
Next, we get the latest release from soulful, southern rockers The Jason Daniels Band. Their new album titled "Downloads From The Universe" features ten new tracks that cross musical genres, as Daniels brings together his west coast and Midwestern influences mixed with blues, soul and funk. The new release begins with the jammy, funky rhythm of "I'm Not Going Down," along with the message of living life to the fullest, because as Daniels sings "It All Can Slip Away." The energy picks up with the southern harmonies of "I've Been Ramlin'," which contains a blazing harmonica solo from Scott Albert Johnson. The Jason Daniels Band simply just jam to the perfect rhythm of "39202," before they wrap up their new album with the funky melody of "Dead And Gone," the country-roots influence of "Breathe" and the uplifting, sing-along of "Prayer To The World." To find out more about The Jason Daniels Band and their latest release "Downloads From The Universe," please visit jasondanielsmusic.com.
Michael Doherty's Music Log
The first time I listened to Downloads From The Universe, the new album from The Jason Daniels Band, I was sinking into a serious case of the blues. Sometimes the state of the world is just too much, you know? There is so much ugliness, so much hatred, so much anger, and then with the pandemic, reality has been more stressful and further distorted. The album’s first track, “I’m Not Going Down,” kept me from sinking any farther. And that’s a great thing that music can do, hold out a hand to us, offer support. The Jason Daniels Band is based in Jackson, Mississippi, and delivers music that takes influence from several different genres and offers us an optimistic and positive view, something we can certainly appreciate. The band is made up of Jason Daniels on guitar and vocals, Murph Calcedo on drums, Rob Wicks on bass, and Chris Nash on keys. Joining them on this release are Michael Laskin on organ, Jennifer Gibbons on backing vocals, Steve Stevens on saxophone, Scott Albert Johnson on harmonica, and Frito Tuente on percussion. The album contains all original material, written by Jason Daniels.
In that opening track, “I’m Not Going Down,” Jason Daniels sings “There’s no one coming to save me/I’m drifting away to sea/I’m terrified,” and that’s exactly how a lot of folks feel. We are all on a sinking ship, “bailing like crazy.” But he follows that by insisting, “I’m not going down, I’m not going down.” And that’s what we all must do these days. This track features some nice work by Steve Stevens on saxophone. That’s followed by “It All Can Slip Away,” a song that has a good groove and features some nice work on keys. At the beginning, Jason sings “It all can slip away/We’ve got to live today/Because there’s no guarantee of tomorrow.” There are many songs that urge us to seize the moment, to live for the day, and we need them all. We need constant reminders to appreciate life each day, and to let go of our hatred, our heartache, our sorrow. This song urges us to let the music help us get through, and that’s what many of us have been doing during these dark and strange days, though I’m not sure how many of us have been able to “boogie on down,” as this song encourages. We’re not quite there yet. I hope we will be soon. “The time has come/To trade hate for love/Don’t have to carry around all these sorrows.”
“Music Is A Prayer” is a soulful, uplifting number about the power of music to help us, telling us “Every time you sing a song/You’re sending up a prayer/Music is vibration/Let your frequency be clear.” The line “Let your music fill the air” reminds me of a line from my all-time favorite song, the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple”: “Let there be songs to fill the air.” Then “I’ve Been Ramblin’” features some good work on harmonica. This is another song to add to my road trip play list. Now I just need a road trip. My girlfriend and I have talked about getting an RV. There is something so appealing about that now, isn’t there? This song has a strong groove, and becomes a damn good jam, exactly the sort of thing to keep you going during those long stretches on the road where there seems to be nothing of interest in any direction. “I’ve Been Ramblin’” is followed by “39202,” which has a funky groove and includes some nice work on saxophone. There is a good energy about this instrumental number. Its title, by the way, refers to a zip code in Jackson, Mississippi. “Be My Friend” also features a good groove.
“Dead And Gone” comes on strong, ready and eager to rock us. “When I’m dead and gone, please don’t put me in no grave.” It is interesting to cut loose and simultaneously think of one’s own demise, but maybe that’s what we’re doing on a daily basis, cutting loose as a way of keeping it at arm’s length. I always figure if I’m dancing, death can’t touch me. Don’t tell me I’m wrong. This song features some great stuff on guitar. At moments, this track reminds me of Eric Clapton’s version of “After Midnight.” That’s followed by “Breathe,” which immediately announces itself as a fun track, with that work on keys, and the saxophone. It is a positive number, with lines like “You’re beautiful/You’ve come so far/You’ve got so much to give” and “Forgiving yourself, that’s where you start/You’re going to do some things wrong, you’re going to do some things right/Don’t give into the darkness, look at the light.” There are more positive vibes on “Get Down With Now,” another song with a delicious groove. The album then concludes with “Prayer To The World,” which should do the trick of reminding each of us that we are not facing these troubles alone. In fact, a large group of backing vocalists adds support to this one, adding their voices to this prayer to the world.
Midwest Record Review
A member of Tammy Wynette's extended family that found himself in Jackson MS after getting a bunch of miles under his belt decides to kick it at Malaco studio. Sounding nothing like the hippie outing you'd expect from the cover, this is the new generation of jam band/genre bender rocking out in his own unique way. Music without an agenda that seems just made to be enjoyed with a blunt or two.
WoNo Magazine /Blog (Netherlands)
That is quite a legacy to be suggestion when someone calls his band The Jason Daniels Band. The name Charlie pops up within nano seconds. Although I know only one song by that band, it is one that can still be heard on the radio on a regular basis, despite nudging towards becoming a half century old.
This is The Jason Daniels Band and yes, the music is in a country (rock) vein, so sounds familiar, barring the fired up violin. The mystic/psychedelic cover has not much to do with the content, so if you expect a trippy, psychedelic album, you are at the wrong address at this moment. Mind, this is where my first impression and my new reality are starting to drift apart fast.
Strangely enough the opening song, 'I'm Not Going Down', does have some wavy gravy starts. Even Les Dudek of the mid 70s comes to mind. There's a warm Hammond sound, a funky guitar and a suave saxophone. Not to forget the gospel like oohs being sung in the background. This is total 70s alright. Without in any way sounding anachronistic. 'I'm Not Going Down' is a far to pleasantly, swinging song for that.
The album continues in this way. Although it is the electric piano that takes over a little from the organ as the most ear catching instrument, banging away its chords and solo. Jason Daniels' voice has a nice edge to it that contrasts nicely with the suave, female backing vocals. 'It All Can Slip Away' again has an extremely nice vibe, that makes limbs and mind move.
Moving towards song three, 'Music Is A Prayer', the sound becomes somewhat more traditional and one name pops up in my mind: JJ Cale. Especially 'City Girl' from the 'Grasshopper' album. The Jason Daniels Band is far less subtle but catches that JJ Cale vibe with its fuller sound. Something that happens again with 'Dead And Gone', where 'After Midnight' comes to mind.
When a harmonica is added in 'I've Been Ramblin'', the album gets a different sound, but the 70s country/southern rock is even more emulated than before in this song. There may not be a three guitar line up, but a two keyboardist one, the musical intent is clear. Also Bob Dylan in his most rocking outings like in 'The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar' comes to mind.
Jason Daniels stems from the Napa Valley in California, recorded his first album in Nashville but wound up in the town made famous by the Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood duet, Jackson. Here he formed his band and after years of playing together recorded his second album, with the word Band added to his name. Together with some extra musicians bringing the band beyond the guitar (Daniels), bass (Rob Wicks), keyboard (Chris Nash) and drums (Murph Caisedo).
Downloads From The Universe is an extremely swinging album. The one thing that puzzles me is that after the first two listening sessions I came away with the impression of a nice country rock album but not more than that. Listening more often hardly anything from that impression is left. For that the album swings too much, is far too diverse and brings together so much more influences that are incorporated successfully into the whole of the sound. The deep south even enters with 'Get Down With Now' as this song holds some strong gospel over tones in it. Again that electric piano and Hammond play such a nice role in giving the song its frills and thrills.
Having told all, I have to conclude that Downloads From The Universe is one of the nicest albums in this genre I've heard in the past years. Surprising and so diverse. Certainly an album to invest (time) in to get to know better and better. It definitely pays off, with great satisfaction guaranteed. What remains to be said, is the Charlie Daniels is no relation, but his uncle George was married to Tammy Wynette. Music does run in the family.
Keys and Chords (Belgium)
From Northern California to Music City to the “City with Soul”, Jason Daniels’ music reflects his range of influences. A little funky, a little jammy, a little bluesy, with country influence and flavors of Latin and Caribbean thrown in. Daniels moves with ease between genres, while retaining a flavor that is uniquely his own.
Growing up in the Napa Valley town of St. Helena, he picked up the guitar at the age of 8 and wrote his first song by the age of 12. Daniels was inspired by his two uncles, George and Paul Richey who were well-known musicians, songwriters and publishers who started out at Sun Records in Memphis (George was married to Tammy Wynette). As an adult, Daniels spent many years traveling and creating adventures that inspired his first record. Eventually Daniels settled in Nashville, TN where he lived for 7 years and wrote and recorded his debut album, Dashboard Visions and Rearview Reflections. Maverick Magazine claimed it was “full of soul and grit” and was an “…album well worth seeking out” and Daniels landed on the cover of the Jackson Free Press as an “artist to pay attention to”.
Downloads From The Universe is his follow up to his lauded debut. It was recorded to tape at the legendary Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS where he’s lived for the past 7 years. The album is co-produced with Kent Bruce who engineered and mastered, and Murph Caicedo (who also plays drums on the album). “I think recording to tape and the analog recording process is an aspect of this album that makes it unique and special,” said Daniels. “Not just for the sound you get when the signal hits the tape, but also the commitment and command you must have of your performance, because with the limited available tracks there is not room for multiple takes. You need to own your performance.”
Daniels has written a positive, uplifting and optimistic album, in response to the dark times we find ourselves in. “I’m trying to bring people together around music,” he said. “Trying to build a community. During a recent radio interview with Radio Free Jackson, DJ Rex McAllister called the album, ‘music for our time ‘and said it was specifically written for this challenging time, living in the first few weeks of a global pandemic.”
Daniels optimism shines through in his song titles as well, “I’m Not Going Down”, “Music is a Prayer”, “Breathe”, “Get Down With Now” and “Prayer to the World”. “’I’m Not Going Down is my personal anthem,” he confesses. “Never give up and keep fighting!”
The song “It Can All Slip Away” came about after a sobering event. Daniels was visiting California for a high-school reunion and brought his son with him to visit his grandparents. While he was attending the reunion, the infamous big fires broke out in Napa Valley. “My father’s house was in the canyon where the first fires originated,” he said. “They barely escaped with their lives. That whole experience really rocked me and got me to thinking how fragile life is, and how we shouldn’t take it for granted.”
The hill-country vibe of “I’ve Been Ramblin’” is influenced by his adopted hometown. “When people ask me why I moved to Jackson, I tell them it’s because I wanted to breathe the air and drink the water. Since moving here I’ve really fallen in love with this place. After my own ramblin’, Jackson sure is a place I love to come home to.”
The album ends on Daniels’ “Prayer to the World”. “Things have to change and we need to come together to make the world a better place,” he emphasizes. “When I wrote the song I heard a big gospel choir singing along. The gang vocals for this song were the last tracks we cut for the record. We had a bunch of fellow musicians and friends come to the studio to join in. The whole recording experience had been so fantastic and cutting these vocals with all of our friends and our collective sense of accomplishment really made for a magical session.”
Daniels attributes some of the alchemy to the relationship between Kent Bruce and Murph Caicedo. “Having recorded dozens of albums together, they know each other and the way they interact really contributed to the vibe in the studio.”
With Jason Daniels on guitar and vocals and Caicedo on drums, the rest of the band is comprised of Rob Wicks on bass and Chris Nash on keys. Several other musicians were brought in for background vocals, B3, sax, harmonica and percussion. “I’m really proud of my first album. Everybody did an amazing job, but there was a transactional element to using hired players. I released my first album under just my name and this album is the Jason Daniels Band. I’ve been playing with Chris for four years now and Rob for a few years and it was magic from the first time we got together with Murph. This is an album made by a band who’ve logged hours on the road, playing shows and in rehearsals, learning how to play together. Collectively we worked so hard to prepare ourselves for these sessions, and I believe it really shows. I can’t say and I try not to worry about what anyone will think of the album, whether they love it, hate it, or are indifferent. Artistically this is the most satisfying thing I have ever created, and I know the rest of the guys will agree.”
Press Contact: Kim Grant, KG Music Press | Kim@KGMusicPress.com | 626-755-9022