Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dennis Jones -- "My Kinda Blues"

Blues artists like Dennis Jones are the reason I started this blog. If you loves the blues and stumble around a while in cd stores, you will eventually find BB and Freddie and Albert King, Muddy Waters and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and you might be satisfied. But the blues doesn't just live in the past--it is also here and now. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share a public endorsement of Dennis Jones. He is really good, and he deserves your support.

He started playing guitar in Baltimore when he was 13 years old. He has fronted the Dennis Jones Band since 1996. Dennis was part of the Zac Harmon Band that won the International Blues Challenge in 2004. "My Kinda Blues" is his fourth cd. I reviewed his last cd " Pleasure And Pain" when it came out in 2009. It was good, but this one is even better. All but one of the 13 songs here are originals--the cover is "You Took My Baby" by Dave Thompson. The band this time out features the same drummer, Michael Turner, and Samuel Correa on bass. Jones plays guitar and sings. Guests are Kenny Neal, who sings and plays harmonica on "Two Trains," and Guitar Shorty, who brings two honking solos on "You Took My Baby."

Things start with "Jesus Or The Bottle" which blends a hard charging boogie opener and actual news sound bites about hypocrisy of televangelists. Then Jones & Neal join forces for my favorite track, Two Trains." Next up is the title track, which is a kicking blues rocker with dynamic stop-time, dramatic "call and response" and an explosive solo. "Text Us Girl" is a lament bemoaning "We used to have sex, now we just text...." The next song is the cover featuring Guitar Shorty, and then "I Want You," which has killer guitar that reminds me of the great Gary Moore. Then "Never Go Away" which has really funky lyrics and yet another hot guitar driving things forward. Then, taking a turn away from the raucous, Jones presents a jazzy, minor key guitar progression on "Best That I Can," about the emotional cost of life on the road. This track shows Jones' awesome guitar abilities in a fine light. "They Say" is a jump blues, and the whole band just shines--Turner and Correa make every line just pop, and Jones' guitar reminds me of Duke Robillard.

AND released in conjunction with the cd is a DVD "Dennis Jones Band: Live at Temecula Theater," with 18 songs spanning Jones' career. The next best thing to seeing Dennis Jones live! The cd and the DVD show all of Jones' talents to full effect--he is a very fine guitarist, and a very strong singer, and his songwriting is top-notch. Dennis Jones brings it all on "My Kinda Blues." Check it out!

You can buy this cd at