The Left Eye Jump Band of Burlington, Vt. serves up blues music with the authentic sounds of Chicago, Texas, New Orleans, California, and the Delta of the1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s. From gritty and haunting Delta slide guitar journeys to T-Bone Walker inspired jump-swing romps, this band delivers on the promise that the Blues speak to the very core of all people, and are at the root of all modern music.
Our mission as a band is to grab a crowd with the high impact energy of a West Side Chicago Stomp, cool them down with a soul searching slow Blues ballad, and then get everybody in motion with a Texas style funk or a New Orleans rumba boogie!
This band was assembled in 1997 from a group of musicians whose backgrounds in music were deeply rooted in the blues. This has streamlined both the goals and the indelible sound of Left Eye Jump. The continuity of the bands authentic blues quality has depended on their ability to attract high caliber players who bring great diversity and an enduring commitment to the “deep” blues. Although the band works most often as a sextet, they have appeared as a trio and as an octet featuring a horn section, always with a great evening’s entertainment as the result.
Guitarist, vocalist, and bandleader Dennis Willmott began listening to the blues in the 1950’s with the acoustic sounds of songsters such as Leadbelly and Mance Lipscomb. In 1959 he became inspired to play after attending live performances by Lightning Hopkins, and the duo of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. By 1963 he began performing in the expanding coffee house scene in the Boston area presenting acoustic blues in the Piedmont tradition as well as the Delta and Texas twelve- bar style. Transitioning to the more urban style of electric blues in the early 1990’s, Dennis began to network through the Vermont Blues Society jam sessions to find the musical contacts that ultimately led to this band.