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Dennis Jones: News/Interviews

#1 @ Smokestacklightnin - October 12, 2012

"My Kinda Blues" is still climbing the Roots & Blues charts. Check out www.smokestacklightnin.com

Blues with no limits - September 13, 2012

An Interview with Dennis Jones, a hurricane that changing the blues landscape in his path

"Blues music is my therapy. Writing songs has a way of helping me understand, and deal with, life, love, and loss."

Dennis Jones: Blues with no limits

Sizzling hot guitar solos. Smooth and soulful vocals. High-energy stage performance. Backed by a rhythm section that is second to none, this IS Dennis Jones. Jones was born in Baltimore, Maryland. The drums were his first passion and they still form his relentless grooves. Check out a live show, and you’ll instantly agree, Dennis Jones’s band ROCKS the blues like NO other! With original songs, some of which are sure to become classics, Dennis’s feet are firmly rooted in the past, yet his heart and soul are connected to the present. He writes songs that seamlessly blend the best of both worlds, presenting a unique and contemporary style of American rock and blues. And unlike some others, he isn’t afraid to tackle the controversial issues of today.

 

Since 2003, Dennis has released four successful albums on his own label, Blue Rock Records. The newly released CD, My Kinda Blues, features legendary guest musicians, Kenny Neal, and Guitar Shorty.

Dennis is no stranger to film either. Deep Blues from his first CD, Falling Up, was featured in a 2006 Lions Gate movie, Sea of Fear. Finally, Dennis is one of several artists featured in the much-anticipated Babe’s & Ricky’s Inn and "Mama" Laura Mae Gross. He opened for such greats as Johnny Winter, Dick Dale, and the Experience Hendrix Tour. Dennis won the International Blues Competition, Memphis, 2004, as part of Zac Harmon’s band and in May 2012, was honored to present the Awards for BB King Entertainer of the Year.

Dennis and his band continue to work hard to achieve the next level of musical success. Increased touring opportunities and greater exposure to new fans will undoubtedly make this band a household name. So if the same old blues has got you down, then it’s time to check out the Dennis Jones Band!

 

Interview by Michael Limnios

 

What do you learn about yourself from the blues, what does the blues mean to you?

Blues music is my therapy. Writing songs has a way of helping me understand, and deal with, life, love, and loss. Each individual life experience, good or bad, is unique, yet its resulting pain or glory is often understood, and even felt, by others, as part of our common human experience. This is what I love about the blues.

Blues music is also part of my heritage, and a birth right, which I cherish and want to be remembered.

 

Photo by Bob Uecke

What experiences in your life make you a GOOD BLUESMAN and SONGWRITER?

The fact that I have had lots of experiences in my life is what makes me a good bluesman and songwriter. It’s hard to understand true happiness if you have never felt despair, and I’ve been there. Other than this, my passion for making and playing blues music certainly helps.

 

What characterize Dennis Jones sound and music philosophy?

My sound is a combination of all music that I played and grew up with. At any given time, any of these elements can come to the surface. I always consider the song itself as most important. A great song will last forever. But a great guitar solo in a bad song will not last.

 

From whom have you have learned the most secrets about the blues music?

Robert Jr Lockwood shared great stories with me, and Guitar Shorty shared not only great stories, but hands-on guitar techniques with me as well.

 

How and where did you get the inspiration for your song?

I am inspired by conversations with my friends, and just watching things in the world. A few years ago, I was talking to Cedric Burnside and Bill Wax while seated on a bus– that’s where the idea for the song, Same Train, came from. But my songs can also come from other sources, and I often think of ideas and start writing lyrics while just sitting home playing guitar.

 

Tell me about the beginning of Dennis Jones Band. How do you describe Sam Correa and Michael Turner?

Over the years, I have had several variations of included instruments in my band, e.g. keyboards, horns. But my trio combination right now feels better and more right than ever before. Michael Turner and Sam Correa are the best combination of musicians that I have ever played with – there is something special about the dynamic that the three of us create that I cannot explain, but fans can see and hear it. I do not have any barriers or limits on what we can do.

 

Which was the best moment of your career and which was the worst?

The best moments of my career are yet to come, though there have been many great ones already. The worst moments are behind me, and I do not wish to dwell on them.

 

What is the “feel” you miss most nowadays from the Blackhead and 80s era?

It was a big part of my life at the time, but now I don’t miss it at all. I enjoyed being part of a positive movement in which black artists were crossing over to many genres of music.

 

Why did you think that the “Blues Poetry” continue to generate such a devoted following?

It’s real and it represents what we go through as humans every day.

 

Which is the most interesting period in your life and why?

The most interesting part of my life is today, the present. All of the hard work that I have put in over the years is finally starting to pay off, and I am no longer distracted by a day job, nor by any human drama. Now I focus each day on becoming a better musician and better human being.

 

 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians thinking of pursuing a career in the craft?

My advice is to find someone who has been doing it a long time, and ask a lot of questions. If you are not a natural songwriter, then take classes to learn, and practice with other musicians. You can only get so good on your own in your parents’ basement.

 

Are there any memories opening for Johnny Winter, Dick Dale, and the Experience Hendrix Tour, which you’d like to share with us?

Opening for Johnny Winter was a dream come true. In his heyday, no one could touch Johnny on slide guitar, and I mean NOBODY! It was hard for me not to jump on stage and play Mother Earth with him. The other experiences were enjoyable too.

 

Tell me a few things about your meet with Zac Harmon, which memory as part of Zac’s band makes you smile?

Zac and I remain very good friends to this day. Winning the International Blues Competition (IBC) in 2004 is one of my best memories of playing in Zac’s band. Plus every time I got on stage with Zac Harmon, I knew it was going to be a good night. Our styles were different, and that is why we fit together so well.

Other good memories were of females taking off their tops to see our reactions, and people throwing money onstage, and I’m not talking change.

 

What is the best advice a bluesman ever gave you?

It is better to be a bad you (i.e. Dennis Jones) than to be a good somebody else. I took this advice to heart.

 

What’s the difference and similarity between the European blues scene (European blues musicians) and US?

The only difference is where the musicians live. The blues has no borders.

 

Tell me a few things about your experience in Europe?

I had a great experience playing in Germany when I was younger. When I toured France and Italy more recently, the response was also really good. I enjoy other cultures – the food, the arts, the people – it was a great experience. I am looking forward to playing again in Europe in the near future.

 

What’s the best jam you ever played in? What are some of the most memorable gigs you've had?

The best jam I ever played in was on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Pacific Coast, with Chico Banks, Zac Harmon, Debra Coleman, Chris Duarte, and a few others. It was just one of those moments that I will never forget.

The most memorable gig I ever had was playing a Teen Center Dance at my High School for the first time, when I was 17 years old. A more recent memorable gig was opening the Doheny Blues Festival in 2011 on the main stage, where I have seen and heard so many great blues acts over the years.

 

Do you have any amusing tales to tell of your recording time with Guitar Shorty?

Guitar Shorty walked in to record You Took My Baby with me, for the newly released CD, My Kinda Blues. Shorty opened his guitar case, and then cords, pedals, and the kitchen sink fell out. Ten minutes later, he plugged in, and played the best guitar solo on that song that I have ever heard. We had dinner, I shook his hand, and we said good night.

 

 

Some music styles can be fads but the blues is always with us. Why do think that is? Give one wish for the BLUES

Blues is the core of most styles of American music, from surf to rockabilly, and even soul and funk. The blues is there. I wish the Blues would continue to mature and evolve, and not always rely upon what has already been done.

 

Which things do you prefer to do in your free time? What is your MUSIC DREAM? Happiness is……

I spend my free time with my friends and my lady, and at least once a day, with my guitar. My dream is to make a good living playing, writing, and performing the music I love, and sharing music with blues fans everywhere.

Happiness is internal. People need to love and respect themselves before they will ever give a damn about anyone else. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t, and it guarantees them a miserable life. Many people focus on money and other external sources to try to appear happy to others, which only makes them unhappier. Fortunately I have learned and loved a lot in my life, and things keep getting better and better for me.

 

Dennis Jones - Official website

 

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Tags: Dennis, Harmon, Interview, Jones, Limnios, Shorty

Jefferson Starship - August 27, 2012

Paul Kantner's Jefferson Starship rocking by Steve Smith, Pasadena Star News, posted 8 23 12, reviewing 8 19 12 concert, Woodland Hillstock (see last paragraph in bold)

From 1965-1972, Paul Kantner co-led legendary psychedelic San Francisco group, The Jefferson Airplane, penning and singing on such iconic protest youth movement and anti-Vietnam War protest songs as "Volunteers," "Crown of Creation" and "We Can Be Together." The Airplane performed noted sets at the three major music festivals of the `60s, the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and Altamont.

Kantner then fronted several forms of The Airplane's next incarnation, The Jefferson Starship, which recorded a dozen gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums.

Now Kanter is 71 and still on the road with Jefferson Starship, which features his old friend, 73-year-old former Quicksilver Messenger Service-Airplane-Starship singer-bassist David Freiberg (who sang Quicksilver's 1970 FM "underground radio" hit, "Fresh Air"). They made a pit stop before several thousand fans at a free picnic concert at Warner Park in Woodland Hills.

The 100-minute set opened with The Airplane's 1967 classic, "Somebody to Love," and it was hitsville from that point onward, including The Airplane's ode to a pill that make you smaller, among other things, "White Rabbit," and such Starship hits (many of them million sellers) as "Miracles," "Count on Me," and "Ride the Tiger" and several other crowd pleasers. The Starship's infectiously propulsive "Fast Buck Freddie" was a particular highlight.

They also incorporating some genuine Airplane gems, such as "Crown of Creation," "Volunteers" and a concert ending, "The Other Side of Life," that the Airplane released live from its early 1969 concert album, "Bless It's Pointed Little Head." (It was also the song The Airplane was performing when Hell's Angels knocked singer Marty Balin out cold at Altamont).

During a lengthy 12-minute take on Kantner's 1967 psychedelic gem, "The Ballad of You & Me & Pooniel," from The Airplane album, "After Bathing at Baxter's," Kantner and Grace Slick's replacement, Cathy Richardson (who also replaced Janis Joplin in the still-active Big Brother and The Holding Company several years ago), took a break while band's guitarist of more than 30 years, Slick Aguilar, led the rest of the band in a workout on Jeff Beck's 1975 instrumental hit, "Freeway Jam."

There was an opening act of note. The blues rocking Dennis Jones Band is a fronted by a truly great guitarist, Jones, who clearly gets his inspiration from Jimi Hendrix. In between performing its originals, the trio covered two Hendrix songs ("Little Wing" and "Red House") as well as B.B. King's "The Thrill is Gone," and Booker T. Jones and William Bell's "Born Under a Bad Sign." Eric Clapton would do well to invite Jones to next year's Crossroad Guitar Festival.

Four Shades of Blue - January 5, 2012

I had an idea to put together a show with some close friends in Memphis and it happened.

We had a great show at the New Daisy Theater the week of the Blues Music Awards 2012

I'd like to thank all the wonderful blues fans that came out to make our show a success.

Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise - November 2, 2010

Just returned from this years Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. I would like to thank all the great artist that I had a chance to perform with and all the amazing blues fans that support us. And to Roger and his great staff for making sure eveything was takin care of. Pre booking for next year has started. Go to www.bluescruise.com for all the booking Information

Real Blues Magazine - January 22, 2010

Real Blues Magazine voted Dennis Jones as Best New Artist of 2009. The new CD "Pleasure & Pain" also won for Best Modern Blues CD of 2009. Go to www.realbluesmagazine.com for more info.

Big City Rhythm & Blues - December 23, 2009

Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine just released a new CD Sampler. It's called "Jump For Joy" I'm proud to have a song on this cool compilation of blues artists from around the country. Go to www.bigcitybluesmag.com for more info. Happy Holidays

Pleasure & Pain - November 25, 2009

Pleasure & Pain is #13 on the Roots Blues Airplay Charts Top 50.

29th Long Beach Blues Festival - October 20, 2008

Playing the Long Beach Blues Festival this year was a special occasion for us. I would have been there anyway, but felt great to perform there. Thanks to all the blues fans everywhere. We appreciate you all. DJ

Dennis Jones Band & Johnny Winter - August 20, 2008

We had the great pleasure of opening for Johnny Winter October 1, 2008 at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. The whole experience was phenominal from meeting Johnny to receiving a standing ovation from the audience. It was a night I'll never forget. Thank you from Dennis, Michael and Sam. DJB

"Best of Southland Blues Bands Volume I" CD - August, 2008

Dennis Jones appearing on Southland Blues/Grand Entertainment Compilation CD "Best of Southland Blues Bands Volume I". Go to www.southlandblues.com to purchase the cd.

10th Annual Julian Blues Bash - June 21, 2008

I'd like to thank Robb Bower and everyone that worked at the 10th Annual Julian Blues Bash this year. From the musicians in the other bands to everyone that showed up, it couldn't have been a better group of people in one place. Thanks for all your continued support. DJ

Blue's Festival Guide "Artist On The Rise" - February 22, 2008

The Dennis Jones Band is featured as the "Artist On The Rise" in their February 22, 2008 Blues Festival E-Guide edition. Check it out at www.bluesfestivalguide.com.

Southland Blues Cover - February, 2008

It's not the cover of the Rolling Stone, but in the blues world it feels really good to be on the cover of Southland Blues. What a great way to start off 2008. I'd like to thank Pete Sardon and Dan Jacobson for giving me the opportunity to share my opinons and respect for the blues. DJ

2007 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise - October, 2007

Hello everyone, Just back from the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. It was my second cruise and the first for my band. From Mike, Tony and myself we would like to thank everyone for letting us be a part of such a great event. Hope to see you all real soon. DJ

9th Annual Julian Blues Bash - June, 2007

I would like to thank Robb Bower and all the bands, fans and supporters of the 9th Annual Julian Blues Festival. We had a great time. Thanks again for having us. Dennis Jones

www.robb-bowerpresents.com

Passion For the Blues Charts at #15 - March, 2007

Real Blues Magazine lists "Passion For The Blues" at #15 on their Top 100 CD's listing.

"New Years Eve Party" - January 2, 2007

I'd like to thank everyone who came out to Martini Blues on New Years Eve. It was a great night for all of us from beginning to end. Thanks for letting us entertain you. DJ

2006 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise - October, 2006

Hello everyone! I just got back from the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. I've had some great times in my life and I must say this ones at the top of my list. I had a chance to play with and enjoy some incredible musicians that I've admired for a long time. Blues fans are the most loyal and sincere people I've ever met. I'd like to thank everyone for there kindness and appreciation for what I do. See you next year.
Love y'all. . .Dennis Jones

Movie Sound Track - August 24, 2006

The song 'Deep Blues' from the CD "Falling Up" is featured in Lionsgate 2006 movie release "Sea Of Fear".

Wrightwood with Dick Dale - August 19, 2006

We had an amazing show this summer in Wrightwood. I showed up early for the classic car show and had a chance to feed another passion of mine - "Muscle Cars". Tony, Michael and I would like to thank everyone that came out to the festival. Hope you all had a good time. This life only happens once - enjoy it! Love y'all. . . DJ

European Tour - April 2007 - April 20, 1997

Just back from Europe. I had a great time touring and meeting new Blues fans from all over the world. Looking forward to doing it again soon. As always, blues fans are the best! Thank you all. DJ
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