Singer-songwriter J. Irvin Dally is playing a special, limited-seating solo show at NuLu restaurant Rye this Saturday. The first 25 to respond to the show invite on Facebook will get something like a house show, but in a much prettier setting. LEO asked J-Hova about his life’s work.
LEO: Why only let 25 people into your show here? Why deny the people?!?
J. Irvin Dally: I’ve been singing in empty bars since I was 16, so 25 is a pretty big number to me.
LEO: L.A. attracts big personalities. How does one create dignified, quieter music there without losing perspective?
JID: The quieter recordings that I’ve done have been more due to the fact that I only had a $20 Logitech USB microphone to record with for about 5 years. I prefer to play with a band and be as loud as possible. But for any type of artist or band in Los Angeles, it’s hard to get people to pay attention. To really draw a crowd out there is an art form of its own.
LEO: The music scene in L.A. plays stepchild to the TV and movie industries, as well as tourism. What keeps you happy there?
JID: Being 22 in a big city is fun, always something to do. Most of my family lives in the area, as well, which, at this point, is the main reason I live there. I don’t have that love / hate attitude toward Los Angeles.
LEO: How has religion influenced your perspective, and your songwriting?
JID: My father’s been a preacher since before I was born. Growing up with a strong sense of spirituality in my life is something that will always be with me. I’m aware of the influence, but I honestly couldn’t tell you all the ways my experiences in my life have affected my songwriting. Things come to you on so many levels – conscious, unconscious, in a dream or in a book.
With that said, I didn’t necessarily grow up in a “religious household”. We didn’t listen to Christian music in my house unless it was Sunday – even then, we were watching football instead). My dad still has one of the best vinyl collections I’ve seen and that’s what I was raised on. That firm foundation in music is definitely something that’s influenced my perspective and songwriting. Picking John Lee Hooker over Steven Curtis Chapman.
LEO: You’ve lived in Illinois, Colorado, California and Spain. Why is Louisville so much better than anywhere else?
JID: I like the bourbon.