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Dennis Jones: CD Reviews

Reviews - Falling Up

For a debut release, Dennis Jones sounds as though he's been getting it done for years. A fortyish guitarist/vocalist and a veteran of Southern California clubs, he has this blues thing down pat. From a line up of mostly self penned tunes, he fashions an eminently listenable platter steeped in popular urban, country, jazz and rock sounds. He's the rare newcomer to recording who displays mastery over his musical _expression without resorting to bombart, flash, fury or histrionics. Jones possesses a confident, smoky midrange voice and shows a deft touch on both acoustic and electric guitar. The title tune spreads a soft, buttery acoustic guitar around a swaying, syncopated rhythm. There's just a taste of acoustic bottleneck or slide on "Yesterday Blues" and "Chevrolet" (the old Ed and Lonnie Young tune) wouldn't suffer by comparison with the version Taj Mahal released in the '70s. "Big Black Cat" and "I Have You" have an urban electric quality not unlike that of Joe Louis Walker. The former is framed by a tidy harmonica accompaniment, the latter harks of George Benson chord changes and sensibilities. "You Don't Know a Thing About Love" is a soft rocker graced by a soulful vocal backing chorus, with Jones furnishing acoustic and electric guitar tracks. "The N Word" isn't what one might suppose; rather it's a country-tinged lament about a girl who evidently can say "No". "Fresh Out of Love" is something of a smooth operator's equivalent of a full disclosure policy statement. The man also has a bit of a muse in him. "Deep Blues", for instance, has a nice acoustic picking and strumming passage at each stanza's outset and a pensive lyric: "Don't know how I got here/Down which road I came/Been in a deep blues so long/Each direction looks the same". "Pray Your Life Away" advocates hedonism. Jones: "Don't you pray your life away/Live each day like it's gonna be your last". Jones surrounds himself with veteran musicians who work the same Los Angeles territory. "Falling Up" makes a compelling argument that his recording career has already hit it's mid-race stride.
M.E. Travaglini - Blues Revue Magazine
My name is Brett Fleming and I met you at the IBC in January. I was the time keeper at the Hard Rock and also do a blues radio show on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis. You kindly gave me a copy of "Falling Up" when you and Dug were walking down Beale Street on Friday night. I have listened to it several times and featured it two weeks ago on my show. I am sincere when I say it is one of the best albums I've heard in the past 2 or 3 years. Having heard you play with Zac's band I knew you were an excellent player, but didn't know how good you are vocally as well as being a fine songwriter. I had several calls from listeners commenting about the disc, particularly "You Don't Know A Thing About Love" which is a terrific song. But it's difficult for me to pick a favorite from among the tracks; all of them are good!! I also wanted to congratulate you and the rest of the band for winning the IBC. Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you. Say hello to the others in the band and I will see you at the Handy Awards!!
Brett Fleming - WEVL 89.9 FM (Sep 30, 2005)