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JW Jones
"BLUELISTED"

BLUELISTED: Featuring Little Charlie Baty, Junior Watson, Richard Innes, 
and Larry Taylor......with liner notes by Dan Aykroyd.

It's not even released yet, and the phone is ringing off-the-hook from clubs, festivals, and radio stations foaming at the mouth for this highly anticipated release. Festival directors want to see the bands high energy stage show that receives rave reviews across the globe, and the House of Blues Radio Hour has called Jones on his Australian tour for an interview as per the request of Hollywood celebrity, Mr. Aykroyd himself. 

People have been asking for a more “guitar driven” JW-Jones album for years... and now is the time. Guest stars Little Charlie Baty and Junior Watson are on board marking the first time the two most innovative blues guitarists to surface in the last three decades have played together on the same tracks. This has been called “a recording of historical importance”. 

Arguably the world’s greatest blues rhythm section, Richard Innes on drums and Larry Taylor on bass thicken the groove with the experience of over 500 recordings combined.

Plus the band is very excited to announce (another) collaboration with Hollywood Celebrity fan and friend, Dan Aykroyd. The original blues brother has written the CD liner notes for the upcoming release. 

Even though Aykroyd is a household name, and people know him from his most famous movie and television 
roles (Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, Pearl Harbor, and 95 Episodes of Saturday Night Live), he is also well respected in the industry for his writing talents as the mastermind behind the Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters, Coneheads, and more. 

An excerpt from the liner notes says "JW’s pure, honest singing plus guitar stars sprinkled throughout on crisp covers and cool originals make this record a yellow dot must-buy addition to the catalog for his fans and for new enthusiasts who are getting to know him."

This record is definitely special, and with the help of Mr. Aykroyd, it has just gone to the next level.

Reviews

EXCLAIM! Canada’s Music Authority

JW Jones - Bluelisted 
by Kerry Doole

This young Ottawa guitar-slinger/singer has earned serious kudos and a growing following over the course of four earlier albums. His fans include Dan Aykroyd (Elwood Blues, who contributes language-mangling liner notes here). Jones’s audience is set to expand thanks to this highly accomplished new disc. The virile sound of his band is fleshed out with horns on some tracks but it’s the guitar interplay of Jones and such high-profile guests as Junior Watson and Little Charlie Baty on tracks like “Double-Eyed Whammy,” “Heavy Dosage” (an album highlight) and “Wasted Life” that really catch the ear. Jones wrote most of the songs, and he does such influences as the guitar-playing Kings and Kim Wilson (also a Jones fan) proud. Another reference point would be fellow Canadian Colin James and, like James, you can expect Jones’s vocals to gain a little more authority as his career develops. (Northern Blues)

All Music Guide / Billboard website review:

Modern blues comes from throughout the world -- but Ottawa, Canada, is not a locale that immediately comes to mind when you think of the aforementioned musical genre. However, JW-Jones is proof once and for all that you can never pin down where bluesmen hail from, as evidenced by his fifth release overall, 2008's Bluelisted. Admittedly, the album is more similar stylistically to Stevie Ray Vaughan (minus the guitar hero solos) and the Fabulous Thunderbirds than to authentic blues artists. But still, with the majority of modern day pop and rock music about as far removed from the blues as you can get, it's a treat to hear such bluesy ditties as "Double Eyed Whammy" and "Somebody's Got to Burn," as well as the rockabilly raver "Mad About You." And from a blues standpoint, you've got to respect the special guests who drop by throughout -- Little Charlie Baty, Junior Watson, Richard Innes, and Larry Taylor. From beginning to end, JW-Jones does the blues with class and style throughout Bluelisted. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide (4 ½ STARS out of 5)

CANADIAN BLUES.CA

JW-Jones – Bluelisted – Northern Blues NMB0046 --- written by: John R. Taylor

So many emerging blues artists seem intent on making their mark by altering the genre beyond recognition. Ottawa’s JW-Jones, still relatively young by blues standards, takes a more conventional approach. Working within, rather than trying to tear the twelve-bar idiom apart, he just keeps making better and better recordings. And with “Bluelisted,” his fifth for Canada’s NorthernBlues label, he’s crafted a disc that ought to be utterly ubiquitous when the year’s best lists are compiled.

Still in his twenties, JW has long been a confident, mature artist. Never one to overplay in the first place, his guitar work has simply become more fleet, fluid, and inventive. Here he’s joined by two of the best in the business – Junior Watson and Little Charlie Baty – and proves quite capable of holding his own in such esteemed company. Also on hand for roughly half the disc’s tracks are bassist Larry Taylor and drummer Richard Innes, stalwarts of the west-coast scene that proves JW’s primary inspiration. (The rest of the cuts find his own working band handling rhythm chores quite capably indeed).

JW states up front that he set out to assemble a guitar-oriented collection this time around, so apart from horn accents and a single guest turn by Baty on harmonica, guitar is what we get here. Liner notes even provide a ‘roadmap’ for guitar geeks, with solos, players, and channels listed to help listeners determine who’s who.

But Jones is wise enough to put the music first, so it’s the songs, not the fretwork, that stand out. The focus is tight, with easy-going grooves in support of succinct solos that serve the song, rather than the other way around. His writing has continued to mature - his musical ideas here are fully developed, and he marshals available forces to excellent effect, working with long-time cohort Frank Scanga on horn charts that add harmonic sophistication without sacrificing rhythmic urgency. 

Despite the virtuosic talents of JW’s guests, most tunes clock in under the four-minute mark, with a few short ‘n’ sweet at less than three. Variety is ample, from the strutting funk of “Double-Eyed Whammy” that kicks things off, to the Texas shuffle of “Can’t Play A Playboy.” The furious romp of Little Richard’s “Mad About You Baby” is followed by the easy swing of “Wasted Life.” “Heavy Dosage” is pure jazz (and pure delight, as the three guitarists trade riffs while Innes and Taylor comp furiously), and JW revisits the titular tune of an earlier outing with “Bogart Bounces Again.” There are back-to-back covers of B. B. King, the stop-time swing of “That’s Wrong Mama” and the shuffling “Waiting On You,” and deep blues by way of “Out Of Service Blues,” Baty providing masterful accompaniment on harmonica that leaves one wishing for more.

Jones’ vocals have improved with each recording, and while his voice lacks natural power he’s learned to work well within his range, with carefully considered phrasing coloring his lines with nuance and shading rather than bombast. He’s worked hard and it shows in every note. 

From writing to performances, sound to packaging, this is a first-rate effort that shows craft, care and attention to detail at every turn, yet exudes a palpable sense of joyous exuberance in every track. Swinging like mad from beginning to end and featuring some genuinely jaw-dropping fretwork, this one’s utterly essential listening.

Highly recommended! *****


TORONTO BLUES SOCIETY

JW-Jones, Bluelisted, NorthernBlues/Festival

Talent, promotion and hard touring are propelling JW-Jones far beyond the bars of Ottawa and his talent is on full display on his new silver disc. Once again he has brought some famous friends along but it’s his name on the cover and once again he’s earned it. 

Little Charlie (Baty) and Junior Watson help out on guitar and while their contributions are carefully noted, they do not by any means steal the show. It is actually the first time these two guitar masters have appeared together on a recording. Other charter members of the Los Angeles Chapter of the West Coast blues sound are here as well with Richard Innes and Larry Taylor providing their singular rhythm section excellence on about half the album. His regular band mates, Jesse Whiteley on keys, Jeff Asselin on drums and Martin Regimbald on bass, round out this seamless production. 

While the CD has the retro, fifties style sound, his own songs update the style nicely. The three Kings are well represented this time out with Freddie King’s “Double Eyed Whammy” opening the set. “That’s Wrong Little Mama” & “Waiting On You” are from B.B. King’s enormous songbook and Albert is wonderfully checked on “Looking The World Straight In The Face”, a JW-Jones original that has some nice key changes worked in. “Can’t Play A Playboy” is another original that’ll bring a smile to fans of Eddie Taylor’s “Big Town Playboy”. “Mad About You” is a Richard Berry song that gets a full Little Richard treatment, with Jesse Whiteley pounding the ivories most recklessly. “Out Of Service Blues” is an exceptional slow blues, with Little Charlie blowing some masterful harp. Talk about updating, this one’s about cell phones. “Silent Treatment” is another strong original. 

One minor complaint is that producer JW-Jones allowed himself to sing “Somebody’s Got To Burn”, an otherwise fine song that Kim Wilson, who produced My Kind Of Evil, would have nailed but that JW does not quite have the vocal chops for, or at least not yet. But it is a minor complaint and lovers of modern blues guitar should rush out to get this one. 

With the backing of none other than Elwood Blues, aka Dan Ackroyd, who supplies the liner notes, JW-Jones is not slowing down. He’s already held his CD release party here, at the Port Credit Legion, but maybe he’ll be back soon.


Oracles Music Review

Canadian and NorthernBlues Music veteran JW Jones has released a CD that is, simply put, a great “feel good” release. It has the blues (both covers and originals) and a couple of what I consider to be old time feel rock and roll songs. There are no modern day special effects that tend to ruin many of today’s releases. All in all, it’s just darn good music.

Jones has a lot of people's attention. The blues community just loves this guy. 

Charlie Musselwhite stated, “JW Jones is one of the best guitar players I’ve heard in a long time. He and his band do great tunes with cool arrangements and I love listening to them. They play with a taste and fire at the same time.”

Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds said, “He’s already unbelievable and he’s only going to get better.”

Both of those sentiments are good enough for me.

It should also be noted that fellow Canadian Dan Akroyd (Elwood Blues) provides the liner notes. 

Let's get started…

The CD opens up with “Double Eyed Whammy”. I honestly never thought I would hear a better version than the one provided by Tinsley Ellis. I was wrong. I am instantly struck by the clear guitar attack and the easy-going vocals that set this tune up to be as good an opener as I have heard in a long time. Blues veterans Little Charlie Baty and Junior Watson join him on this track. They trade 4’s and 2’s. Have fun figuring it all out.

The 2nd tune is a Jones original, “Looking The World Straight in The Eye”. Again, Jones' pure singing style allows me to just sit back and let him testify. I love the lyrics to this song..

“I laugh when I wanna cry, because it’s the only way to get by. There’s just no answer, just a series of lies”. 

The whole song is full of remarkable blues musings such as these.

“Can’t Play a Playboy” follows with shuffle so solid, even I could solo over it. OK, maybe not. But it is solid.

“I’ve got eyes all over town and I know just where you lie”. 

Jones just seems so comfortable in his skin.

The 1st horn work appears on the 4th track and 2nd cover called “Mad About You”. Jones’ rendition of the Richard Berry tune takes you back. The accompanying sax and guitar work has that 50’s feel to it. Like everything else on this CD, it is tasteful and has an energy that will keep me listening for a long time.

Skipping ahead to “Somebody’s Got to Burn”, this track has a real edge to it that I like, both lyrically and musically. The song starts out with a great guitar riff that sets the stage for the rest of the song. Next comes Jones’ straightforward vocals that says to the listener, “here it is, if you don’t like the song, go home!” The lyrics don’t say that, but the song has an attitude and feel that do.

The next track is very intriguing. It is called “Heavy Dosage”. The track is completely instrumental. Truth be told, this track could be found on any jazz guitar CD. Yes, it has the blues structure, but Jones shows off his guitar chops in a way that proves to me that he could cross over to the jazz world if he wanted to. I am very impressed by his light and tasteful feel and touch.

The rest of the CD follows suit. There are two B.B. King covers (“That’s Wrong Mama” and “Waiting on You”) that Jones does a great job on. This is the kind of blues CD that should stay in your rotation for a long time. If you appreciate a fat guitar sound with a rockin’ fluid energy then this CD is for you.

Sir Hodge


All Music Guide / Billboard website review:

Modern blues comes from throughout the world -- but Ottawa, Canada, is not a locale that immediately comes to mind when you think of the aforementioned musical genre. However, JW-Jones is proof once and for all that you can never pin down where bluesmen hail from, as evidenced by his fifth release overall, 2008's Bluelisted. Admittedly, the album is more similar stylistically to Stevie Ray Vaughan (minus the guitar hero solos) and the Fabulous Thunderbirds than to authentic blues artists. But still, with the majority of modern day pop and rock music about as far removed from the blues as you can get, it's a treat to hear such bluesy ditties as "Double Eyed Whammy" and "Somebody's Got to Burn," as well as the rockabilly raver "Mad About You." And from a blues standpoint, you've got to respect the special guests who drop by throughout -- Little Charlie Baty, Junior Watson, Richard Innes, and Larry Taylor. From beginning to end, JW-Jones does the blues with class and style throughout Bluelisted. ~ Greg Prato, All Music Guide (4 ½ STARS out of 5)

JW Jones Band Live On CityTV

http://www.jw-jones.com/

http://www.myspace.com/jwjones