July 15, 1980 |
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Genres||Blues, Jump blues, Rock and Roll, Swing, Soul, Roots|
JW-Jones (born July 15, 1980, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian blues guitarist, singer, songwriter, and band leader. Based in Ottawa, Jones was the first artist signed to the NorthernBlues Music label in Toronto, Canada, and released his first six recordings with the label. He still records for CrossCut Records in Europe, and has previously worked with Ruf Records in the USA. In the last decade, he has released seven albums and played in 19 countries, four continents, and continues to tour extensively. Jones, who lives in Ottawa, Ontario, has performed at blues festivals, theatres and clubs in Canada, the USA, Europe, Russia, Australia, and Brazil.
In May 2009, Jones' song "Parasomnia" appeared on a Guitar World featured CD, Guitar Masters Vol. 2, among B.B. King, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Carlos Santana. The Canadian national newspaper Globe and Mail referred to Jones as "one of this country's top blues guitar stars". The US Blues Revue Magazine stated that "Jones' style is a fluid amalgam of T-Bone Walker's big, bright chords, Johnny "Guitar" Watson's slashing leads, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's jazzy sting". Billboard called Jones part of "a new wave of young talent moving onto Canada’s blues stage."
Charlie Musselwhite stated that "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 taste and fire at the same time." Guitarist Little Charlie Baty has stated that "JW is one of the young guns in the blues guitar world who consistently delivers the goods on record and on stage - and of course I'm gonna dig anybody who writes a tune called 'Batyology'!" (an instrumental that Jones wrote in homage to Baty). Canadian-born Hollywood actor Dan Aykroyd, who is also known for his Blues Brothers persona "Elwood Blues" has called the group an "amazing blues band".
Constantly on the road, Jones is known as Canada's top touring blues act, in terms of widespread touring to 19 countries and four continents. No other Canadian blues band currently has this level of international touring.
Jones, who attended Ridgemont High School in Ottawa, Ontario, won the 1998 R&R Concerts "Battle of the Bands", at the age of eighteen. The prize package included studio time that was used to record a six song demo that was later reviewed by Blues Revue. The next year, Jones won the 1999 Ottawa Blues Guitar Riff-Off competition. The prize package included studio time that was used to record his debut album Defibrillatin (SBR001-2000 / NBM0001-2001). The debut album included Steve Marriner, a then-high-school-age Ottawa blues harp player. AllMusic states that the "Keyboardist [Pierre] Chretien [on organ and piano] is credited with bringing a jazz influence to Jones' and the band's sound" during that time period. The CD liner notes state that Steve Hiscox played drums on the album.
In the 2000s, Jones has been invited to perform onstage with a number of blues bands and artists, including The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Junior Watson, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Rusty Zinn, Rick Holmstrom, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Anson Funderburgh & The Rockets, The Mannish Boys, and Hubert Sumlin. Jones' second album was Bogart's Bounce, which included performances by singer/blues "harp" player Kim Wilson (from The Fabulous Thunderbirds) and pianist Gene Taylor (from The Blasters).
His third album with his band, My Kind Of Evil (2004), was produced by multi-Grammy nominee Kim Wilson (singer for The Fabulous Thunderbirds), and includes vocals from Canadian singer/guitarist Colin James on two tracks, and Roxanne Potvin on one. Songs from the album have been played internationally syndicated House of Blues Radio Hour. Music reviewer Brad Wheeler from Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper praised the "graceful ability he (Jones) shows on guitar" in the album. Wheeler stated that "...the Ottawa player makes retro moves, layering swinging blues with keyboards and very noticeable horns that never dominate the fine-lined fills and lead work." The Allmusic review of My Kind of Evil, by Chris Nickson, states that "He's very good on covers, such as “I Don't Know," but his own songs — the vast majority of this disc — have plenty of life."
In 2006, Jones released his fourth album, Kissing in 29 Days, which included performances by David "Fathead" Newman on tenor sax. Newman was the main saxophone player with Ray Charles for 12 years. In Blues Revue Magazine (Apr/May 2006-Issue #99), Bret Kofford's article "The JW-Jones Blues Band - A Rising Star Chases the Sound of Thunder(birds)" stated that "JW-Jones is highly regarded in blues circles."
On May 13, 2008, the fifth album, Bluelisted hit stores. The recording features special guests Little Charlie Baty (leader of the band Little Charlie & the Nightcats, which records on Alligator Records), Junior Watson, Richard Innes, and Larry Taylor. The liner notes are written by Hollywood celebrity Dan Aykroyd.
Less than a year after the release of Bluelisted, on May 6, 2009, Hubert Sumlin (77), a blues guitarist who worked with Howlin' Wolf for over 20 years and was named in the 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, recorded with JW-Jones at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The rhythm section was Richard Innes and Larry Taylor (who appear on 2008's Bluelisted).
Midnight Memphis Sun (NorthernBlues/CrossCut/Ruf) was released on August 10, 2010. In April 2011, Jones landed an endorsement deal with Gibson Guitars. Jones' seventh release, Seventh Hour (March 27, 2012), hit #1 on B.B. King's Bluesville on XM Sirius Satellite Radio, and led the band to performing at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago (February 2013), and opening for B.B. King at the RBC Ottawa Bluesfest (July 14, 2013).
Jones was asked to co-host the Maple Blues Awards in Toronto on January 20, 2014. In 2014, Jones is recording a new album.
Awards and nominations
|1998||R&R Concerts||Battle of the Bands||Won|
|1999||Blues Guitar Riff-Off||Best Blues Guitarist||Won|
|2000||Maple Blues Awards||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|2001||Maple Blues Awards||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|2002||Maple Blues Awards||Best New Artist||Nominated|
|2004||Canadian Independent Music Awards||Favourite Blues Artist/Group||Nominated|
|Maple Blues Awards||Electric Act of the Year||Won|
|Recording of the Year - "My Kind of Evil"||Nominated|
|Guitar Player of the Year||Nominated|
|Producer of the Year (w/Kim Wilson)||Nominated|
|2006||Maple Blues Awards||Recording of the Year - "Kissing in 29 Days"||Nominated|
|2008||XPress Newspaper Awards - Ottawa||Recording of the Year||Nominated|
|House of Blues Radio Hour||Blues Mobile Award - Recording of the Year||Nominated|
|Maple Blues Awards||Recording of the Year - "Bluelisted"||Nominated|
|Guitar Player of the Year||Nominated|
|International Songwriting Contest||Song of the Year - "Looking the World Straight in the Eye"||Nominated|
|2009||Blues 411 Awards||Best Male Vocalist||Won|
|Guitarist of the Year||Nominated|
|2010||Maple Blues Awards||Recording of the Year - "Midnight Memphis Sun"||Nominated|
|2012||Maple Blues Awards||Electric Act of the Year||Nominated|
|2013||Wasser Prawda Awards||Recording of the Year - "Seventh Hour"||Nominated|
|Year||Title||Genre||Label||Guests / Details|
|2000||Defibrillatin||Blues||NorthernBlues Music||Pierre Chrétien was a band member for this recording|
|2002||Bogart's Bounce||Blues||NorthernBlues Music||Kim Wilson (harp, vocals), Gene Taylor (piano), Roxanne Potvin (vocals)|
|2004||My Kind of Evil||Blues||NorthernBlues Music||Colin James (vocals), Kim Wilson (harp, vocals, producer)|
|2006||Kissing in 29 Days||Blues||NorthernBlues Music||David "Fathead" Newman (saxophone)|
|2008||Bluelisted||Blues||NorthernBlues Music||Little Charlie Baty (guitar, harp), Junior Watson (guitar),
Richard Innes (drums), Larry Taylor (bass)
Liner notes by Dan Aykroyd
|2010||Midnight Memphis Sun||Blues||NorthernBlues Music||Hubert Sumlin (guitar), Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica),
Richard Innes (drums), Larry Taylor (bass)
|2012||Seventh Hour||Blues||Solid Blues Records||Mixed by Steve Dawson at Black Hen Music|
- "Billboard - Google Books". Books.google.ca. 2005-04-02. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
- Dan Aykroyd said this during a live performance with Jones at the Rainbow Bistro on Sep 2, 2005
- "Canada’s Top Touring Blues Act". JW-Jones. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
- "JW-Jones | Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2014-05-18.
- Thursday, May 13, 2004, Globe and Mail - page R3
- "My Kind of Evil : JW-Jones". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-05-18.