Under the banner of Jamie and the Guarded Heart, Morgan Russo and Jamie Salvatore make uplifting, anthemic rock music in the spirit of fellow east coast punks The Menzingers and The Gaslight Anthem. And certainly too, in the spirit of artists that in their common foundational DNA. (Well, one artist in particular. Give you a hint: he’s from New Jersey.)
What that means, aside from an evident affection for Springsteen, is that these rock and roll spouses tell stories from the heart about the dreams and dismay of working class suburbia. Feeling alone and isolated, following the same patterns of family and friends and jobs year-in and year-out. Drinking too much, doing stuff you might regret, learning to let go of that regret. Finding the thing that makes you want to get up go forth every day — whether its a person you love, a creative passion you chase, or both.
Jamie and the Guarded Heart are based in Conshohocken and have gigged around Philly and released music since 2017. Their early vibe was scrappy and DIY; they’ve over time become more polished and more intentional, and their visit to WXPN for this week’s Key Studio Session presents a robust sound with just the two of them: Jamie’s crunching guitar, Morgan a one-person rhythm section on bass and kick drum, both of them sharing vocals.
We hear them play “Shake,” the band’s terrific recent single released in the fall, and we hear “Rain In Miami,” an aching lovelorn song from 2022’s Funeral Song album. We also hear an as-yet unreleased cut, “I Won’t Give Up,” a reflection on the tough year the duo had in 2023, particularly in the wake of Morgan’s father passing.
Watch Jamie and the Guarded Heart’s full Key Studio Session below, and see them play live this Saturday, February 3rd at 118 North in Wayne; tickets and more information on the show can be found at WXPN’s Concerts Calendar.