Bio

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller 

“Julie Amici & Dean Mueller run the roots gamut on their upcoming album, I Loved You So. Nestled comfortably in the soles of old-school Americana, the kind of music that they create transports listeners into home-sewn stories of family, life, and love. They do so with a keen sense of what makes timeless folk, country, and blues-tinged tunes tick and produce an ageless sound in the process….” ~ by Jonathan Frahm, For Folk’s Sake, February 2020.

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller make Americana in the old-school sense. Their new LP I Loved You So is a thick, low-simmering stew of country, folk and blues peppered with subtle hints of jazz and gospel. In the last few years, this melting-pot of traditional American sounds has taken them from their hometown of Portland, Ore., all the way to Memphis, Tenn., where they’ve been recognized by the Cascade Blues Association not only as recording artists and performers, but also for their nonprofit work—bringing the gift of music to disadvantaged children, people with autism and the elderly through the Mudd Nick Foundation, United By Music and their own organization, Fly Me to the Moon, operated in partnership with the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

For their new album I Loved You So, Julie & Dean once again partnered with producer Alan Jones (Esperanza Spalding, Kelly Joe Phelps), who was also at the helm for their 2017 debut EP Yellow Roses. For the sessions, Jones was on drums and percussion, and Amici handled the bulk of the lead vocals, with Mueller also singing a few songs and playing rhythm guitar, as well as electric and upright bass. On keys, they tapped Dave Fleschner, who’s made a name for himself playing with Blues Brothers-inspiration and Bonnie Raitt / Santana / Robert Cray-collaborator Curtis Salgado. And on lead guitar, they employed a rotating cast—Mike Gamble played the spacier, more atmospheric parts; Alan Hager—who has also recorded and toured with Salgado—brought a traditional Chicago-blues feel or a slick Nashville sound depending on the track; Thad Beckman handled the acoustic country & blues numbers; and Chris Carlson added his jazz-inflected chops to the mix, as well.

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller met on the Portland music scene, and started playing together in 2014, building their rapport on live tributes to Patsy Cline, Nina Simone and John Prine. Mueller—an award-winning musician who’s performed with everyone from contemporary-blues mainstay Corey Harris to the late legends Honeyboy Edwards and Pintetop Perkins—had just started booking a music series at the Lake Theater in Lake Oswego, Ore., and he and Amici played there regularly, developing their sound and a strong local following. Before long, they were touring up and down the Oregon coast (where Amici had previously fronted a six-piece jazz band), and throughout the Pacific Northwest, including regular annual performances at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival.

Many of the standout tracks on I Loved You So embody Julie & Dean’s collaborative spirit. There’s the countrified trio of “Frame It on the Wall,” “Flannel Shirt” and “Daddy,” the hypnotic rockabilly vignettes of “Turn the Key,” and the heartbreaking yet silver-lined gospel-blues of “Read Through Tears,” which Mueller began writing in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre, and finished as more horrific mass shootings unfolded at a country-music festival in Las Vegas, a church in Texas, and a high school in Parkland, Fla. The song would ultimately become a tribute to the anti-gun-violence March for Our Lives.

Julie & Dean use their music to make a positive impact whenever possible. This is achieved mostly through their work with nonprofit the Mudd Nick Foundation, United By Music and their own Fly Me to the Moon project. With Mudd Nick, they’ve secured grants for or an Oregon school district, bringing expert musical-enrichment workshops to geographically isolated and economically deprived students, who then get to perform professionally alongside their teachers. Similarly, with United By Music, they offer autistic adults a chance to perform music in front of an audience. And with Fly Me to the Moon, Julie & Dean bring the joy of live music to entertainment-starved senior centers. Their song “Blind Beulah,” from I Loved You So, was inspired by this work, for which they were honored with the Cascade Blues Association’s Back What You Believe In Award last year.

Julie Amici & Dean Mueller’s I Loved You So is out May 1, 2020

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS:

2019 Cascade Blues Association “Back What You Believe In” Winner

2017 Cascade Blues Association Solo/Duo Winner for Journey To Memphis Competition

2016 Cascade Blues Association “Back What You Believe In” Nominee

2016 Cascade Blues Association “Best Traditional Act” Nominee

2015 Cascade Blues Association “Best New Act” Nominee

QUOTES – What people are saying:

“Julie Amici & Dean Mueller run the roots gamut on their upcoming album, I Loved You So. Nestled comfortably in the soles of old-school Americana, the kind of music that they create transports listeners into home-sewn stories of family, life, and love. They do so with a keen sense of what makes timeless folk, country, and blues-tinged tunes tick and produce an ageless sound in the process….” ~ by Jonathan Frahm, For Folk’s Sake, February 2020.

“With a classic country feel, Julie Amici and Dean Mueller will spin you a tale of a life well lived.”American Highways, Feb 2020

“… a simmering stew of country, folk and blues to make for a rich Americana mix.”Americana UK, March 2020

“The only downside I found with Yellow Roses? It’s just not long enough. It has left me wanting more. And that is a good thing as it leaves an anticipation for what they come up with next. Can’t wait!” – Cascade Blues Notes

“The collection represents gorgeous collaborative songwriting by a couple already well-known for Julie’s dulcet tones and Dean’s Motown-driven bass sensibilities”Cascade Blue Notes

“Julie Amici crosses the lines of the various genres from blues, country and jazz with perfection. But here she has found a true calling with folk and roots music. It is a direction suited ideally matching the atmosphere behind her songwriting and vocal talents.” – Cascade Blues Notes