Jasmine Tea was christened in a study hall back in DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne, NJ by three of the original members: Bob Stritch, Michael Strong, and Rich DeClemente. There was no flaming pie or vision, just someone drinking Jasmine Tea.
The journey began in New Jersey, and has since traversed the East coast from Martha's Vineyard to Florida. Their music touches on a variety of genres, so it’s hard to say what defines them. Some of the songs are of the singer/songwriter variety with catchy melodies, while others lean on retro roots rock with bluesy guitar riffs.
Check out the guitar in “Hauling That Cross” or “Having Too Much Love”, and you’ll definitely hear the blues influence. Contrast that with the beautiful vocals, strings, and classical guitar of “Audrey” – and you will have discovered both sides of Jasmine Tea.
But wait! Then there's the dog songs, “My One Best Friend”, which was chosen to open the 2022 New York City Dog Film Festival and “MacGregor the Scot” which will premier in the 2023 Film Festival (who knew there was a film festival about dogs?). Their most popular recording is “Just A Little” with over 45,000 streams in the first two months of its release.
What makes their music so varied and interesting is the wide array of influences that each member brings with him.
Drummer Rich DeClemente studied jazz in college, but is just as likely to listen to Frank Sinatra or Herb Albert when he isn’t playing Steve Gadd drum fills to Steely Dan.
Michael Strong, the band’s other music major, lists Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and the R&B of Curtis Mayfield for his influences.
Bob Stritch (aka Bones) is more of a James Taylor and Bruce Cockburn guy.
Bassist Bob Short (aka The Babe) credits The Beatles as his first influence but is quick to praise the current day Indie music, especially The Shins, fanclubwallet and Backseat Lovers.
So, travel with Jasmine Tea on a musical excursion into the rhythm and rhyme of elegance. They are a song band, a quartet of one, honed to each other's sonar in pursuit of a simple mission: make good songs.