Saturday, September 19, 2015

Johnny Jones Blues Is In The House

Johnny Jones
Blues Is In The House
NorthernBlues Music NBM 0007

A Fool Never Learns/ Girlfriend Blues/ I’m Gonna Love You/ Stacked in the Back/ I Could Be Dangerous/ I’ll Be the Judge of That/ Love Recession/ Good Idea At the Time/ Your Stuff Is Rough/ Farm Boy/ Why Can’t We Be Alone/ Really/ A Rock and a Hard Case/ The Blues Is In the House -1.

Jones, v, g; Fred James, g; Jeff Davis, b; Billy Earnheart, kybds; Dennis Taylor, s; Bryan Owings, d; Mary-Ann Brandon, Charles Walker, bckg vcl; Charles Walker, vcl-1. Nashville, TN. January 2000.

Nashville is not known as a blues and soul town, but it was home for several classic R&B labels including Excello. Johnny Jones is among the performers that have long been at the root of this scene. He has had several recent recordings for a variety of labels including a live European recording with deep soul singer Charles Walker. Blues Is In The House is Jones’ new disc on NorthernBlues Music, and includes a number of originals. Most of these are from the pen of Fred James who has been a driving force in the revival of the careers of Jones, Walker and others.

Walker is a solid soul-blues performer with a style akin to the late Fenton Robinson. The songs include some clever lyrics built, sometimes built around some everyday phrases like “A Rock & A Hard Place,” and “A Good Idea At the Time.” The latter number sounds familiar and may have been previously recorded by Jones and/or one of the other performers that James has worked with such as Roscoe Shelton or Earl Gaines. Jones is a pretty fair guitarist guitar and sings with plenty of heart and authority throughout. The studio band provides solid support with horns effectively employed on several tracks and a strong, swinging rhythm section. This is a notable recording of soul-infused blues.

This review was written in 2002 for Cadence Magazine and likely appeared there, and possibly also in the DC Blues Calendar. Note that I did not mention of the fact that Jimi Hendrix played with him nor his being part of the studio ban for the legendary The Beat!!! tv show. I likely received a review copy from Cadence of this item. Here is a you tube clip (sound only)  of him from one of his other recordings. This is out of print and may be hard to find.

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