Michele D’Amour grew up in West Seattle and from an early age found her future in music. At the age of six she was already quite skilled at both playing Piano and Singing, performing in her church choir. Michele also enjoyed writing from an early age and became a published poet in her late teens. Later, Michele earned her chops singing with several different local bands and writing her own music.
Looking at each of the individuals in this wonderful group, it is easy to see that the natural chemistry and the enormous talent that make Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers and their music phenomenal. Ronnie Bishop, the band’s Drummer, most recently known for his work with Michael Powers. Bishop has an impressive history of working with jazz and blues artists in the Seattle area and beyond. The Bands Bassist, Patrick McDanel started his music career as a professional trombone player before switching to bass. He has toured nationally and internationally with various bands. Ryan Higgins began playing the guitar at an early age and studied music theory in college. Today, he’s an accomplished singer, songwriter, and guitar slinger who brings his own twist to covers and enriches the original tunes.
Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers have released three CDs: Sin Comin’ On, in February 2014, with three original songs penned by Michele; Ante Up, comprised of ten originals written by Michele, in March 2015; and Lost Nights at the Leopard Lounge, in June 2017. The band enjoys performing for and interacting with audiences of all ages.
Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers’ third album is a celebration of the band’s fifth anniversary with a new crop of originals. The band worked with Grammy-winning engineer Steve Feasley on the recording. Lost Nights at the Leopard Lounge is a compilation of stories rooted in real life experiences and expressed through the blues tradition. “I am an avid collector of characters and stories,” says D’Amour. She also co-wrote two tracks, I Didn’t Know and Last Man Standing, with Cory Wilds.
The song Leopard Lounge evolved from the band swapping anecdotes about colorful venues they’ve played and people they’ve seen; manifested in a fictional club that artist Tim Sutherland depicted in the album art.
This album has the standard course of Blues ideology, but is far from “predictable” or “simple” the music has a natural flow and lyrically, Michele D’Amour is singing from the depths of her heart, a heart that knows both tribulation and triumph, the darkness that is loneliness and the glorious light of love.
Other songs explore love gone wrong: Trouble; No Good; What the Cat Dragged In; and the anthem Last Man Standing. Move on Down the Line discusses when it’s time to get out of a bad situation; All I Do Is Work and Blue as Blue Can Get are songs for the downtrodden.
In this Video for “Lost My Mojo” and Michele D’Amour describes, in her own words, the meaning behind the song.
“Lost My Mojo “is my take on being a ‘woman of a certain age,’ laughs D’Amour.”
“I Didn’t Know tackles the feeling of being disillusioned with the music scene, while When the Blues Come Calling is a light- hearted exploration of what it might be like if “the blues” behaved like a pesky house guest. Black Cat Boogie was originally written for children when the band played a series of summer family events, and has since been embraced by cat aficionados.”
While researching this article, I found that throughout, Patrick McDanel on bass (Red Hot Blues Sisters), with the band since its inception; and with new addition Ronnie Bishop on drums (Michael Powers) they provide the band’s signature groove-oriented sound. Ryan Higgins joined as the band’s guitarist in fall 2016 and developed the signature licks for many of the tunes. McDanel and Higgins also contribute horn parts to two of the songs, and it wails sounds from soft and subtle to sexy and wild. Least we not forget, a singer that is as lovely as her voice, Michele D’Amour, whom brings it all together, and leases us wanting more.
There are bands that work well together, and some that work great together, Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers work magic together. Check out their website and follow them on social media.