Laidback but passionate, those words describe the attitude local Willoughby, OH music act Dear Jimmy Band portrayed in my recent interview with them. Local musicians Jimmy Mrozek and James Schleicher comprise Dear Jimmy Band, who since combining forces in June 2011 started becoming regulars on Willoughby’s live music bar scene. Interestingly enough the two’s musical collaboration days date back to 2003 when Jimmy and James played together at Willoughby’s Oktoberfest. However, their first stint together proved a short one.
Between 2003 and 2011 Jimmy Mrozek and James Schleicher journeyed on different paths with their music pursuits. Mrozek did solo work, using the time to find his style and niche. He kept a rather low profile, playing Willoughby’s Oktoberfest and parties for his friends. Schleicher on the other hand delved a little deeper into the local music scene, founding and fronting a local Cleveland band named Life After August. The group recorded an album in late 2007 and played shows at places such as The Grog Shop, Peabody’s, and Agora. Life After August fizzled out in the summer of 2008.
Dear Jimmy Band Forms
Mrozek recalls talking with Schleicher one day discussing how they each missed music thus when the opportunity to play at Bottega Bistro Willoughby appeared in June the duo grabbed at the chance. After the night went well the two started playing a couple of times a month, expanding to perform at Croagh Patrick’s Pub and looking to increase their reach to other places in the Willoughby area. The name “Dear Jimmy Band” stems from a “Dear Abby” type column called “Dear Jimmy” Schleicher wrote while in college for his school’s student newspaper. Considering the fact the two musicians’ names are Jimmy and James, Dear Jimmy Band seemed fitting enough.
Jimmy Mrozek and James Schleicher thrive on entertaining crowds and so far in their Dear Jimmy Band venture find positive feedback from seeing people who come in just for a drink stay to watch them perform. “That makes us feel good” Schleicher commented. Although the two musicians possess their own catalog of original music, they play mostly covers at their shows. “Imagine you are putting together a mix CD of 30 songs. Those 30 songs are what we want to play at our show” Mrozek explained. When asked about their goals as musicians both Jimmy and James emphasized having fun and enabling their audiences to do the same. Perhaps Schleicher puts this best when he stated “That’s what it comes down to, we want to rock your face.” To see Dear Jimmy Band in action, watch the Youtube video below.
Dear Jimmy Band @ Halfway to St. Patty’s Party