The JW-Jones Blues Band

The JW-Jones Blues Band
Kissing In 29 Days

Northern Blues Music NBM0035

By Karen Nugent
January 2007

This is JW Jones' fourth release, and it holds quite a variety of music, not all of it blues. The record has 14 tunes - all but three originals - with everything from 50s rock-in-roll, to funk, jazz, big band, and yes, blues. The 25-year-old Canadian has, in fact covered most of the American music he loves.

The record starts with the title track, a Bobby Darin-esque 1950s rock-in-roller. That's followed by "Hey Girl!," another be-bop tune song written by singer Little Milton Campbell, who was scheduled to be a guest on the record, but passed away a month before Jones went into the studio.

Jones deliberately called in some special guests for the record, and one of them, sax great David "Fathead" Newman positively shines on his three tracks, especialy Jones' version of Ray Charles' "Hallelujah, I Love Her So."

The band also includes "The Big Chill Factor Horns" with a couple of trumpets, tenor and baritone saxophones, and harmonica. On lead tenor sax is Brian James, who has been with Jones for three years and has a knack for recreating the mood of music of the 1940s and 1950s.

"All My Money" is a terrific, classic big blues tune with some fantastic guitar work by Jones, who started out as a drummer, but took up guitar after the-then 15-year-old saw B.B. King, in the 1990s.

The mood shifts to a brooding funk on "I Don't Want To Know," with advice to his lover about keeping mum on previous amours and their feats. ("You talk about him all the time, you'd think that he was fine/He treated you like a mess, he had something good to pass the test") What that something was is better left unsaid, according to Jones.

The song has a fabulous trumpet solo by lead trumpetist Patrick Camire.

It's funky time again on "Games" with horns accompanied by organ, and more of Jones' searing guitar.

About half-way through the disc, jazz, swing and big band kick in, first with "Parasomnia" an up-tempo jazz instrumental with crazy horns.

Next come the blues. First, a cool "Fly To You," one of the best tracks on the disc; followed by "Got Me Chasin'" a classic blues with fine harmonica and guitar solos, and no horns. "Way Too Late" is a slow-dance blues, also great, with outstanding piano by Geoff Daye.

"Pretty Little Sweet Thing," written by Jimmy McCracklin, is an ode to the sensible, working girlfriend: "When some mens go to work their woman go play in the street/What I like about mine is she work every day like me. She help me pay the bills whenever she gets paid/Whatever she has left, she gives to me to save."

"Standing In Line" while a fantastic roadhouse blues, is sadly dedicated to Jones' brother, Gabriel Wynne-Jones, who died in a car crash in 2005, at age 22. The song is uplifting and danceable, although listening to the lyrics once you know the background is difficult. Again, Jones lets out some great guitar licks.

The last two songs, "Here She Comes" and "No Love," with the lines: "I'm just a boy from the north, you gotta work to keep me warm./My frozen tears keep on falling, till you show me that love's strong," and "I need love like a politician needs to lie." again harken back to funk and rock-and-roll.

Jones has a pretty good singing voice and has nailed down the phrasing and style of his favorites. The disc would add some zip to a party and will get everybody up on the dance floor, for sure. As they say up north, "It's a beauty."

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