Julie Amici & Dean Mueller slow-simmer country, folk and blues, pepper it with subtle hints of jazz and gospel and cook up their very own Americana recipe. As writers, recording artists and live performers, they bring their talents not only to music’s customary audiences, but to disadvantaged children, people with autism and the elderly.
Julie wrote most of the songs on their first EP, Yellow Roses, and rooted them in her childhood, with a resulting sweetness. I Loved You So is grownup stuff, grittier, more electrified, sexier, and more a combination of each of their musical roots. “It’s definitely less wholesome,” Mueller commented.
Amici and Mueller met on the Portland music scene, started playing together in 2014, and before long, they were touring up and down the Oregon coast. Amici’s creative head is in the clouds, while Mueller has grounded ideas and a talent for bringing them to fruition. On stage and off, it’s a winning pairing.
The duo use their music to make a difference in the world whenever possible, securing grants for a school district, bringing workshops to geographically isolated students and live music to senior centers, all through partnerships or their own Fly Me to the Moon organization. “Any way that we can give back to the community is very meaningful to us,” Amici says.
Mueller told Elmore, “‘Turn the Key’ starts back in 2008 when I went to the Blues Music Awards with The Insomniacs. I went the Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale, Mississippi and met Rat, who ran the place and grew up there as a child. Rat’s mom converted what had been a black hospital into a hotel. Rat had this routine—you had to look through the guestbook. You had to sit down, and listen to all his old stories about these blues legends. It was an essential part of the whole experience. Rat told me about John Lee Hooker having two rooms while he stayed there, one for his wife and one for his girlfriend.
“When he checked me into the hotel that first time, Rat told me: ‘To get into the room you take the key, you put it in the hole and you turn it towards the river.’ I thought, ‘I’m gonna use that someday.’ I went back to stay again, and walked through town taking note of everything I saw—5th & Sunflower, the spires, the tombstones, Cathead Records, Hambone’s—a lot of the imagery associated with Clarksdale. And I just started creating stories. ”
Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So is out May 1.
Learn more about Julie Amici & Dean Mueller HERE
*Upcoming shows in limbo due to Corona virus.