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Background information
Born (1980-07-15) July 15, 1980 (age 34)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Genres Blues, Jump blues, Rock and Roll, Swing, Soul, Roots
Instruments Guitar, Vocals
Years active 1998–present
Website www.jw-jones.com

JW-Jones (born July 15, 1980, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is a Billboard Magazine Top 10 Selling[1] Canadian blues guitarist, singer, songwriter, and band leader. Jones' first recording contract was signed with CrossCut Records (Germany) in 2000, who released his first seven CDs in Europe. He was the first artist signed to the NorthernBlues Music label in Toronto, Canada, and released his first six recordings with the label. Jones has also worked with Ruf Records in the USA, and is now signed to Blind Pig Records. 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.

On June 19, 2014, Jones was presented with a Forty Under 40 Award by Ottawa Business Journal/Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. It is a celebration of entrepreneurship in Ottawa - a "salute to the region’s young business stars who balance business achievement, professional expertise and community involvement."[2]

Critical response[edit]

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."[3]

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".[4]


Late 1990s[edit]

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.[5] The CD liner notes state that Steve Hiscox played drums on the album and Nathan Morris played upright bass. Morris played on several subsequent albums and played and toured with the band. On subsequent albums, Morris is also credited for electric bass.


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).

JW Jones playing guitar.

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.[6] 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."[7]

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, which took place mid-way through a tour with Johnny Winter. Jones opened for Jimmie Vaughan in May of the same year.

On June 19, 2014, Jones was presented with a Forty Under 40 Award by Ottawa Business Journal/Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. It's the biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship in Ottawa - the salute to the region’s young business stars who balance business achievement, professional expertise and community involvement.[8]

"Belmont Boulevard" was released on October 14 and is Jones's first release for American blues label Blind Pig Records, recorded in Nashville with Grammy Award winning producer Tom Hambridge. It debuted at #9 on Billboard Magazine Blues Charts, November 8, 2014.[9] The disc was released in Canada on October 7, distributed by Stony Plain Records, debuted and held the #1 position on Roots Music Report in Canada for its first two weeks.[10] The release has been nominated as Recording of the Year at Maple Blues Awards, and Jones was nominated for Guitarist of the Year. The Maple Blues Awards will be held on January 19, 2014 in Toronto.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Result
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
2014 Blues 411 'Jimi' Awards International Release of the Year - "Belmont Boulevard" Nominated
Maple Blues Awards Recording of the Year - "Belmont Boulevard" Pending until Jan 2015
Maple Blues Awards Guitarist of the Year Pending until Jan 2015


Solo releases[edit]

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
2014 Belmont Boulevard Blues Blind Pig Records Produced by Tom Hambridge


  1. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/2014-11-08/blues-albums
  2. ^ "Forty Under 40". 
  3. ^ Billboard - Google Books. Books.google.ca. 2005-04-02. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  4. ^ Dan Aykroyd said this during a live performance with Jones at the Rainbow Bistro on Sep 2, 2005
  5. ^ "JW-Jones | Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  6. ^ Thursday, May 13, 2004, Globe and Mail - page R3
  7. ^ "My Kind of Evil : JW-Jones". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  8. ^ "Forty Under 40". 
  9. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/2014-11-08/blues-albums
  10. ^ http://www.rootsmusicreport.com/charts/view/album/country/canada/weekly

External links[edit]