|Growing With JW-Jones
JW-Jones is living a dream. A dream cajoled to fruition by his late grandfather, aka "Papa," and, as is mentioned in the liner notes, My Kind of Evil is dedicated to his memory. Papa believed in JW and was responsible for his start in the business, even to the point of financial assistance in getting his first records produced. Let me add, Papa, ya' did good!
This third CD by JW moves into the realm of guitar-driven horn band with Kim Wilson producing and Colin James bringing some big band know how of his own. Both add vocals to two tunes each; on the remaining vocal tracks you will hear that JW has been working real hard to elevate his own singing and to his credit, succeeding for the most part. JW's best vocal effort is demonstrated by the great opening track, "Shake That Mess." His vocal style alternates between sounding like Wilson and, well...uh, himself, which means, still a little like Wilson. "Ain't Gonna Lie" contains the only vocals that make your face scrunch up like you just bit into a lemon. Brutal backing vocals! After receiving an advance mp3 of this song, some months before the release of the CD, I asked JW if that was the final mix. Here is his reply:
"The blues Nazi's aren't gonna dig it. If they can't see past a 12-bar blues, then that's fine. The truth is, the most serious blues singer (and of course, harp player) in the world produced our CD, and if it's OK with Kim Wilson, and he digs it... well, who's to say otherwise? HA! I will even bet that B.B. King would dig it for what it was!"
Jones' baby blue Strat playing however is never in question, jumping up a notch and nearly reaching the upper echelon of Jump Blues players like Hollywood Fats, Junior Watson, and early Rick Holmstrom. This has all transpired since getting a guitar from Papa in '96. He's developed an amazing feel for the instrument for so short a time and as so young an artist. This empathy is reflected in my favorites, as always the instrumentals, "Nothing On Me," "Slow Down," and "Code Blue."
In the 58+ minutes of music, you can see there are very few things to bitch about. The next step in the career of JW-Jones isn't a giant one, but it is definitely in the right direction. I recommend seeing him live, he kicks ass!
"This third CD by JW moves into the realm of guitar-driven horn band with Kim Wilson producing and Colin James bringing some big band know how of his own."