Bill Jones (musician)
|Also known as||Belinda Jones|
|Labels||Brick Wall Music in the UK, Compass Records in the USA and Asia|
Born in Staffordshire, she grew up with music around the house; her father played fiddle in a ceilidh band and accompanied Morris dancers, while her part-Indian mother was a huge Buddy Holly fan, singing his songs as she did the housework. Jones herself proved to be a precocious musical talent, as she began classical piano and flute lessons while still young and also playing traditional music with her father. At the age of 11, Jones went to a boarding school that specialized in music, with the intention of becoming a classical pianist. She remained there five years before dithering about qualifications that would get her into university. But after a year and a half of an arts degree at Middlesex University, she dropped out, ending up at London's City University on a course that included plenty of ethnomusicological study, all the while playing in rock bands, one of which, the Wide Wound, brought her to playing accordion. For her college undergraduate thesis, she performed folk songs and put together a Morris dance side, then moved to the North East of England teaching and preparing a solo act.
After leaving university at 22 Bill enrolled in a Folkworks summer school and became involved in the Newcastle folk scene. She started working in a duo with guitarist Steve Moffatt and, after they split, went on the road as a solo artist. Word spread fast and in response to requests from her audience she made her first album, Turn To Me, in 2000.
Bill's second album and first US release Panchpuran was produced by Karen Tweed (The Poozies, Swåp). The album's title (pronounced "ponch pure on") is a Hindi expression that literally means five spices. Bill picked the name to suggest the idea of many different things all mixed up together. This concept applies well not only to the CD and Bill's musical influences, but to her family's background as well.
Guests include Kathryn Tickell on fiddle, Kellie While (E2K, the Albion Band) on harmony vocals, Paul Jayasinha on cello and flugelhorn, Keith Angel (The John Tams Band) on percussion, and David Wood on guitar. A brass band from County Durham also joined in on one track, and a Finnish string quartet fill out the arrangement on two songs.
On her 2003 album, Two Year Winter, Jones collaborates with American singer/songwriter Anne Hills and is joined by two members of her touring band (Keith Angel, percussion and Miranda Sykes, double bass and vocals) alongside Stewart Hardy (violin), Paul Jayasinha (flügelhorn), David Wood (guitar), and Sarah Wright (flute).
- Turn to Me (Boing, 2000)
- Panchpuran (Brick Wall Music, 2001)
- Bits & Pieces EP (Brick Wall Music, 2001)
- Live at The Live (Brick Wall Music, 2002)
- Two Year Winter (Brick Wall Music, 2003)