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Dennis Jones: CD Reviews

Reviews - My Kinda Blues

My Kinda Blues is Dennis' best release to date. With the exception of guest appearances by Guitar Shorty and Kenny Neal on one track each, this record is simply Dennis and his trio laying down some serious blues rock that stands up to anyone on the current scene. He writes timely, clever lyrics (listen to "Same Train" or "Text Us Girl" ) and is not afraid to tackle what some might call a controversial subject, as in "Jesus or The Bottle." In addition to his fine lyrics, Jones writes beautiful instrumental lines, as witnessed in his tribute to his hometown on the album's closer, "Baltimore Blues." This record has 13 tracks, all but one a Jones' original, that keeps the blues sounding fresh and propels the music forward. My Kinda Blues sounds like one of 2012's best records that will push Dennis into a broader national spotlight, which he so richly deserves." Brett Fleming, WEVL Memphis

Brett Fleming - WEVL Memphis (Sep 5, 2012)

 DENNIS JONES

MY KINDA BLUES

BLUE ROCK RECORDS

JESUS OR THE BOTTLE--SAME TRAIN--MY KINDA BLUES--TEXT US GIRL--YOU TOOK MY BABY--I WANT YOU--NEVER GO AWAY--BEST THAT I CAN--THEY SAY--GOOD FOR ME--ONE MORE DANCE--DEVIL'S NIGHTMARE--BALTIMORE BLUES



DVD--LIVE AT THE TEMECULA THEATER---KILL THE PAIN--HIM OR ME--I'M GOOD--BRAND NEW DAY--PASSION FOR THE BLUES--THE BEST THAT I CAN--BIG BLACK CAT--DON'T WORRY ABOUT ME--WHEN I DIE--HOME TONIGHT--TRY NOT TO LIE--FRESH OUT OF LOVE--SUPER DELUXE--HOT SAUCE-- BONUS TRACKS--SOMETHING GOOD--FALLING UP--YOU'RE WRONG--STRAY BULLET




With "My Kinda Blues," Dennis Jones combines blazing, strutting guitar work with topical, down-to-earth songwriting that definitely has a finger on the collective pulse of today's society. With twelve original cuts, Dennis leads his power trio squarely into the world of progressive, hard-hitting contemporary blues. He's joined by Sam Correa on bass, and Michael Turner on drums, and the fireworks start on the leadoff cut. Using real-time news sound bytes, Dennis takes a hard look at man's eternal struggle with good and evil, entitled "Jesus Or The Bottle," asking the fervent question, "Who you gonna pray to tonite?"




If anyone thinks they have a psycho girlfriend, they got nothin' on Dennis. One lady is just crazy enough to be tempting, but Dennis wants "Just You, not your problems." And, a clingy chick brings about exasperation, as "how can I miss you when you Never Go Away?" Kenny Neal adds vocal and harp on a sweet tale of two different kinds of lovers, this one an acoustic, Delta-fied number called "Same Train." Guitar Shorty chips in with two hot solos on a cover of Dave Thompson's "You Took My Baby." The set closes with Dennis' blistering instrumental tribute to his hometown, "Baltimore Blues."




We had two favorites, too. Dennis' girlfriend's addiction to social media over physical love is the humorous theme of "Text Us Girl," while "They Say" follows a swingin', jump-blues beat but tells a powerful story of the role that the news media plays in today's society.




The accompanying DVD showcases Dennis and the band live from the Temecula (CA) Theater. No matter if he's playing his Les Paul or his Strat, he commands the stage without bombast--just straight-ahead blues from a man out to have a good time and make sure the audience has one, too.



The band lays down a solid groove over eighteen selections, culled from his four releases. "I'm Good" rocks with sheer abandon, while Dennis' tale of the difficulty in juggling life on the road with a life at home is spelled out in "The Best That I Can," while a lover with a penchant to "smile in my face and stick a knife in my back" finds she can't hurt him any more in "Big Black Cat." Perhaps the most poignant part of the concert is Dennis' tribute to his late grandfather, a long-time country music fan. He dons a cowboy hat and rips into the bluesy twang of "Hot Sauce" in his honor.




As Dennis sings in "My Kinda Blues," he is politely "doin' my own thing" while paying "respect to the legends of the past." His dynamite playing, singing, and ultra-cool way with a lyric makes this set and the companion DVD one you do not want to miss! Until next time...Sheryl and Don Crow.

2012

Greetings Dennis,

Y'er latest CD is Smokin' my friend!

“Nothin’ But The Blues!”

“TOPBLUES” internet radio – Live365.com
Streaming CD quality Blues 24/7

Peace & Blues,

Terry O’

“Doin’ the Blues since 1977”

Tracy Waddell

Terry O - TOPBLUES internet radio (Aug 3, 2012)
DENNIS JONES - "MY KINDS OF BLUE"
Here is a cd that encapsulates a running commentary of what Dennis is about with his guitar, singing and writing. But then you play more tracks and you realise that Dennis, drummer Michael Turner and bassist Samuel Correa are more than a one trick pony, especially when you introduce vocalist and harmonica genius Kenny Neal to the mix. This trio know their Blues and in the grandest of traditions lay it on the line scorching the ground they stand on delivering commentaries of life. There is a whit and some poignancy about the songs, songs that make you nod in agreement with Dennis. This is great bare bones Blues from a more than competent trio of seasoned Bluesmen who are not just playing by the number's but instead are driving their message and sound to the upper reaches of perfection. Yes indeed l like this album.
Regards peter merrett
PBS 106-7 FM
Melbourne, Australia

I don't understand why the Dennis Jones Band isn't a bigger deal. The trio plays some powerhouse blues/rock, Jones is a charismatic singer and guitarist, and he writes some very good songs that are sometimes topical, sometimes humorous, and always blues-oriented. If you give it a chance, you will find that his latest release, My Kinda Blues (Blue Rock Records), is probably your kind as well. The band rips through a rousing set of original tunes, plus a great Chicago-style cover of the late Dave Thompson's "You Took My Baby." Guest artists Kenny Neal and the great Guitar Shorty also stop by to lend a hand, but this is Dennis Jones' show. If you like this new release, check out Jones' previous work, plus his new DVD, Live at the Temecula Theater.

Dennis Jones – My Kinda Blues- Blue rock Records
Modern, edgy, street smart, full of attitude delivered with muscle and fire, this is how guitar man Dennis Jones may describe “his kind of blues.” Check out his latest release My Kinda Blues the fourth from his own Blue Rock Records and judge for yourself. Jones doesn’t pull any punches as he launches the album with a seething rebuke of televangelists on “Jesus and the Bottle,” then gets down home cute with the train beat ramble “Same Train,” featuring guest Kenny Neal on Harmonica. The Title track spells out Jones’ mission statement for dragging the blues into the twenty first century kicking and screaming if need be. The rhythm section of Michael Turner on drums and bassist Samuel Correa are a force to be reckoned with, who lay doing super fat dynamic grooves one would expect on a neo soul or R&B record.
Jones whips out the zingers of modern vernacular on his catchy dance hall tunes like “Text Us Girl,” and “I Want You.” The driving funk rock of “Never Go Away,” delivers one of the best man cave lines ever “how can I miss you if you never go away? “ Jones trades hot licks with guest Guitar Shorty on the classic Chicago shuffle “You Took My Baby.” A nice choice was made to explain in the album notes that Shorty’s guitar is panned hard right for the track so you get the feel of the two gun slingers tossing barbs back and forth. Another treat is the Tex-mex styled rumba “One More Dance,” that twists and turns into a Band of Gypsies style rocker that shows off this power trio’s full range of skills. The album ends with the instrumental “Baltimore Blues,” giving Jones the chance to show off his arsenal of chops while paying tribute to the city of his birth and all the guitar heroes who inspired him to stick to his guns and play his kind of blues.
Rick J Bowen ‘

http://www.dennisjonescentral.com/

Dennis Jones was brought up in Baltimore County, Maryland and first picked up a guitar at age 13. He lists among his influences not just the “Three K’s” as he calls B.B., Albert, and Freddie but also the “Three J’s” as in Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and surprisingly, Jimmy Page. His songwriting is informed by hard times and hard living he has seen, experienced and avoided. Dennis formed his eponymous band in 1996 but in 2004 won the International Blues Competition held annually in Memphis as a member of Zac Harmon’s band. Dennis’ new album My Kinda Blues on Blue Rock Records is his fourth since his debut Falling Up in 2003.

After the first listen, it was clear Dennis Jones has carved out a piece of the post-Stevie Ray blues environment. He has a thick tone from Fender guitars and over-driven amps, he kicks up dust on full throttle shuffles, melds rock and blues influences seamlessly and isn’t afraid to acknowledge the influence of Jimi Hendrix on the blues. What separates him from a pack of imitators is his writing. Not only is the music spirited and inventive, but with his words he gambles on relating to modern problems, trends, and expectations. He avoids clichés and he has the guts to say what a lot of people are thinking. His voice is confident; a little rough around the edges, but mostly smooth and his delivery takes ownership of the words. He means what he plays and says.

My Kinda Blues starts off with the social commentary of “Jesus Or The Bottle” which includes newscast snippets and is ostensibly about preachers and televangelists but really comes down to what guides you and how you allow it to affect your life. Jesus can be as bad as the bottle and both give you crutches to lean on when you should be walking upright on your own. Maybe it’s a song about responsibility. Maybe it’s a song about hypocrites. Whatever the case, it rocks a stuttering riff all the way to confession. “Text Us Girl” looks at the impersonal aspects of personal relationships in cyberspace. Instead of being physically connected the protagonists are separated by satellites and cell phones when they could just be seeing and feeling each other in person.

“Best I Can” is about dedication to his craft at the expense of his personal relationship. He’s on the road, playing music that comes from within, and he doesn’t just want to play it; he has to. His other half doesn’t understand the drive, the need, or the feral desire. Naturally he misses home too and all the while he has in the back of his mind the needs of his family and he’s doing the best he can. You can tell he has experienced all these feelings, and the song and his playing are emotional releases of the pent-up frustration of the balancing act.

Kenny Neal guests on vocals and harmonica on the acoustically driven “Same Train” and Guitar Shorty gets on board for a pair of hair-raising solos on “You Took My Baby.” Thankfully you don’t have to guess which ones are Shorty. The liner notes kindly direct your ears to the right channel. More artists should let the listener know what channel to find the guests. “They Say” is about the media and how the messages manipulate us if we let them. Again, Jones shows he is a free thinker; an intellectual voice for reason, observation and the questioning of all the answers provided for our own good.

Live At The Temecula Theater DVD

While the CD is a hot plate full of blues, the DVD Live At Temecula Theater is a barnburner from start to finish. The trio of musicians parallels the CD with Jones, bassist Sam Correa and drummer Michael Turner bringing their kind of blues to the stage with high energy, confidence and swagger. The live set features music from all of Jones’ CD releases and features his laser point focus on issues like drug abuse on “Kill The Pain”, knowing when enough is enough on “I’m Good,” self-respect and confidence on “Big Black Cat” and getting your act together on “Brand New Day.”

Jones alternates between a Les Paul and a Strat – guitars favored by 2 of the 3 J’s – and plays for all he’s worth. Correa and Turner keep up with him at every twist and turn displaying their affinity for playing music together. They are a tight band that looks and sounds like they are having fun. They never heard of a thin tone; this is a trio that knows how to fill out the sound and maximize the potential of their instruments. They are tight but loose which just about the best tribute they could give to an influence like Jimmy Page. They bring blues and rock together on Live At The Temecula Theater for a day of reckoning neither will soon forget.

Overall, Jones seems like a self-confident, self-aware man who has created his own destiny and openly disdains those who lack self-respect and pride. He seems to be above the pettiness of modern life and implores others to do so as well. Blue Rock Records is his creation. He writes, sings, and plays his songs. He brings his message to the people. He is a positive role model in a world of bad habits, late nights, and carnal sins. Dennis Jones and his band have earned a spot in your CD player, your play list, and your Pandora channels. It’s up to you to make sure he gets there. You might just find it’s your kinda blues too.


Reviewer Jim Kanavy is the greatest guitar player in his house. He has been reviewing albums in his head for 30 years and in print since 2008, and is deeply committed to keeping the blues alive and thriving.

Dennis Jones CD Artist: Dennis Jones Title: My Kinda Blues Label: Blue Rock Records Maryland born Dennis, still maintains with this, his fourth album the fundamental points that have made him such an outstanding and singular modern day bluesman and this is simply the rawness of attitude and the surging passion, skill and urgency that he puts into all of his performances. Of the thirteen numbers here, the one cover is from the late Dave Thompson, his “You Took My Baby,” is an enticingly urging Chicago shuffle that features the searing lead guitar talents of Guitar Shorty, together their guitars create a blast furnace atmosphere. The significant influences on Dennis’s guitar playing style straddle both the rock and blues world, from the Kings, B.B. Albert and dare I say Freddie, all judiciously entwined with Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and possibly the crunching bass of Lemmy? The experiences of his time performing in Europe have allowed Dennis to add another dimension to this cornucopia of guitar sounds. “Jesus or The Bottle,” features an unsettling and disturbing mixture of news recordings and an evangelist spouting his particular brand of religion intercut with a massively bruising, brutal guitar lead that sweeps you away on a sea of riffs. “My Kinda Blues,” has a rather mellow gently flowing introduction that quickly changes to a rocking toe-tapping pace but keeps the mellow flowing guitar groove with tasty solo flurries. The jaunty shuffling “Text Us Girl,” bemoans the current trend for texting as a replacement for encounters of the ‘personal’ kind. The excellent backing from Michael Turner; drums and Samuel Correa; bass is seriously committed and takes no prisoners. The juggernaut numbers are “Devil’s Nightmare” and “Baltimore Blues,” they feature a relentless, surging and prowling mixture of sound fronted by Dennis’s brooding and dynamic guitar play that wails and screeches like a wounded soul. If you like modern blues this is for you! Brian Harman.

Brian Harman - Bluesinthenorthwest.com (Sep 11, 2012)

DENNIS JONES - My Kinda Blues

Blue Rock, no issue number (53:34)

Jesus Or The Bottle/ Same Train/ My Kinda Blues/ Text Us Girl/ You Took My Baby/ I Want You/ Never Go Away/ Best That I Can/ They Say/ Good For Me/ One More Dance/ Devil's Nightmare/ Baltimore Blues

On the title track, Dennis sings, "Sit back and let me do my own thing", and although his tone and volume are that of a blues-rocker, he does indeed stand out from the crowd. "I know my feet won't fit in your shoes, it's my kind of blues", he adds later, and his style is slightly different in that he tends to be a more rhythmic player than most, and his rhythm section of Michael Turner on drums and bassist Samuel Correa has more of a spring and swing than is usual in blues-rock, whilst his songs generally run between the two and four and a half minutes mark. Vocally, he has a cool sound, not too dissimilar in places from Jimi Hendrix, and his lyrics veer between the clichéd and the very original - whilst he can attack television evangelists on the opening track, he can then reassert his religious beliefs (in general terms) on 'Devil's Nightmare'. 'Text Us Girl' is an amusing commentary on social networking in cyberspace.

"I like to play slow, I like to play fast, and respect the legends of the past", sings Dennis on the title track, and the seven and a half minutes of the closing instrumental - named in honour of his home town - demonstrate the truth of that statement, referencing Magic Sam, Albert King and Jimi Hendrix among others. Some of his songs sound a little like souped-up versions of the kind of blues numbers that appeared on 45s in the 60s and early 70s - Buddy Guy is another inspiration, I guess. 'Same Train' is an acoustic piece with Kenny Neal as special guest on harmonica and backing vocals, whilst Lil Dave Thompson's 'You Took My Baby', riding a 'Green Onions/ Help Me' flavoured backing, is the only non-original track here and has Guitar Shorty supplying some fierce playing (Jones contributed the song 'Temporary Man' to Shorty's 2010 Alligator album, "Bare Knuckle"). Given that Dennis can also sing, "don't have to be old to sing the blues", I did wonder if he doesn't include Kenny and Shorty among the legends of the past he refers to!

As long as you can put up with some rock influence in your blues, all the tracks here are worth a listen. Personally I would have loved to hear a little more of the guitar and bass sparring present on 'Devil's Nightmare' - next time maybe? Dennis also has a newly-released DVD available entitled "Live At The Temecula Theater", recorded on New Year's Eve 2010 - - watch out for a review in the next issue.

Norman Darwen

Norman Darwen - Blues & Rhythm (UK) Review (Sep 18, 2012)

Dennis JonesFor powerful blues/rock of the hightest order, look no further than Dennis Jones on his latest CD, My Kinda Blues (Blue Rock Records). Jones unleashes 13 sensational tracks (12 self-penned) that combine powerhouse music (courtesy of Jones – guitar, Michael Turner – drums, and Samuel Correa – bass) with some of the most original, honest songwriting you’ve heard in a while.

Jones doesn’t waste any time. “Jesus or the Bottle” mixes actual news sound bites with some scathing lyrics about televangelists backed by a hard-driving boogie beat. The mood lightens on the next track, a humorous country blues cut, “Same Train,” that features harmonica and background vocals from Kenny Neal. The rocking title cut is next, and Jones makes it clear what his “kinda” blues really is. “Text Us Girl” is a clever composition that bemoans the texting/twittering craze.

Next, Jones takes his rocking blues to the Windy City with the late Dave Thompson’s Chicago-style shuffle, “You Took My Baby,” featuring Guitar Shorty on a pair of blazing solos. All that’s missing is a Junior Wells harmonica break.

“I Want You” is another funny song about that kind of no-good woman that you just can’t stay away from. “Never Go Away,” about the exasperating qualities of relationships, pumps up the funk as Jones laments “How can I miss you, if you never go away.” The pensive “Best That I Can” slows the pace briefly before literally jumping into the topical “They Say."

“Good For Me” is a strong blues/rocker with lyrics that hit as hard as Jones’ guitar riffs and solos. “One More Dance” is a sensual swampy blues that slowly builds into Jones’ gripping guitar solo. “Devil’s Nightmare” is a bracingly sober look at things apocalyptic, wondering how far away the end may be.

The disc closes with a long instrumental, “Baltimore Blues,” that begins with a Magic Sam-like West Side riff, but covers a lot of additional ground in it’s seven-plus minutes running time.

If you like raw and ragged, well-written blues/rock, you will probably agree that Dennis Jones’ “kinda” blues is your “kinda” blues, too. Don’t miss this one.

--- Graham Clarke