JW-Jones - Reviews

Kissing in 29 Days

"The JW-Jones Blues Band, 2005 winners of the Maple Blues Electric Act of the Year Award (the Canadian version of the Handy Awards...sorry, they’ll always be the Handys to me) has previously released three albums of their jazzy jump blues for the Northern Blues label, each disc surpassing its predecessor. Their latest effort for the label, Kissing In 29 Days, continues that trend with ease. Comprised of 14 tracks, 11 originals and three covers, there’s plenty of Jones’ excellent guitar work here. Jones, all of 25 years of age, shows traces of T-Bone Walker, Gatemouth Brown, and Albert King in his playing, and his performances on this disc will verify his standing as one of Canada’s top guitarists. In addition, his vocal style, which has always been a pretty solid fit with the style he plays, has improved this time around; as he sounds more relaxed and confident.

"The covers include Jones’ take on the immortal Ray Charles’ classic,
Hallelujah I Love Her So, a bold selection which ends up being one of the best vocal performances on the disc, with a great assist from guest David 'Fathead' Newman’s tenor sax. Hey Girl, a nice tribute to Little Milton Campbell (who passed away a month before he was slated to make an appearance on the album), and Jimmy McCracklin’s Pretty Little Sweet Thing, are the other two covers. As far as the originals go, they are all well done, and Jones’ band, with the Wind-Chill Factor Horns and the ever-present Brian James on tenor sax, is smoking throughout.

"Standout tracks include
All My Money, I Don’t Want To Hear, the jumping instrumental Parasomnia, the Jimmy Reed tribute Got Me Chasin’, and the closer, Here She Comes, with another strong sax break from Newman. Also produced by Jones, this is clearly his best effort yet and it will be a challenge for blues fans to sit still while listening to this one."

-Graham Clarke
Blues Bytes
May 2006 


"JW-Jones is back with his fourth release for the NorthernBlues label. The young band from Ottawa impressed everyone with their 2002 disc, Bogart's Bounce and followed up in 2004 with the equally impressive My Kind Of Evil.

"Jones is a fine guitarist, vocalist and songwriter with a healthy musical curiosity. His compositions are up to date but Jones exhibits great respect for blues history. His guest on the first album was piano man Gene Taylor and harp king Kim Wilson showed up on the second CD. This time the special guest is the venerable David "Fathead" Newman.

"The title tune rocks along in the Jones band's trademark burning style and boogie-woogie rhythm. We liked "
I Don't Want To Hear" too. The entire horn section is pulled in to the arrangement and Patrick Camiré delivers a very nice trumpet solo. "Parasomnia" is a lively jump instrumental that demonstrates the young leader's guitar prowess. David "Fathead" Newman and Brian James step into the spotlight with some fine sax interplay.

"JW-Jones penned eleven of the fourteen songs on this disc. "
Fly To You," "Got Me Chasin'" and "No Love" are outstanding examples.

"It would be unforgivable if I didn't acknowledge the heart of this blues band. Drummer Artie Makris, pianist Geoff Daye and bassist Nathan Morris keep the band on-track all the way. It's nice to hear a young blues band utilizing a good old acoustic bass.

Kissing In 29 Days will appeal to most blues fans and samples can be heard at Amazon or the label's website. Read about JW-Jones in the April/May issue of Blues Revue."

-Richard Bourcier
April 2006 


"Blues aficionados, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. The JW-Jones Blues Band knocks one out of the park with the soulful renderings on their newest CD, Kissing in 29 Days. The Band has produced three other CD’s that were very good and this one is no exception. In fact, this is one of the best Blue’s CD’s that we’ve heard in quite sometime.

"The band offers an extraordinary 'bluesy' sound punctuated by musical mastery. The guitar pieces are nothing short of awesome and the saxophone will leave you wanting more. Combined, they create a distinctive sound uniquely Blues and uniquely artistic. The good vocals and the powerful melancholy of the lyrics come together in just the right way to remind you of what real Blues is all about. It is precisely this type of music that appeals to young and old Blues fans alike. 5 / 5 stars"

-Brenda Barbee
Roots Music Report (USA)
April, 2006 


"JW- Jones just goes from strength to strength. Album #4 continues the collaboration with tenor sax man Brian James (Asselin), who contributed so mightily to the last one. There are fifteen songs totaling well over an hour of dancing feet. There is a pronounced `50's feel to the CD, especially on the opener, "(We'll be) Kissing in 29 Days", a storming rockabilly original with a smoking guitar solo and with Geoff Dage supplying the requisite Jerry Lee Lewis piano. Jones & James outdid themselves with the horn charts too. JW-Jones' vocals show Kim Wilson to be a major vocal influence. On guitar, JW-Jones may be one of our most exciting players, with an original style that suits the big band arrangements here. Mr. Wilson is not a guest on this one, though, and David "Fathead" Newman is and his august presence is on three of the songs here. The large horn section gives the album a Roomful of Blues feel but the charts are very different. Fathead's first appearance is on the stellar jazz instrumental, "Parasomnia" and he could very easily have been on the next song, "Fly To You", which has a remarkable Ray Charles sound. He does play on "Hallelujah I Love Her So", the Charles hit and a fine performance it is. "Got Me Chasin'" shows JW-Jones has the Jimmy Reed sound down too, as the horns take a break. "Pretty Little Sweet Thing" is another highlight, a rocker with strong horns and a striking guitar solo. "No Love" has a tricky beat and a whammy bar guitar solo a la Ike Turner. "Here She Comes" is yet another rocker and Fathead's third appearance. It doesn't close the album, though, because there is a hidden instrumental track with the full band soloing in turn. Don't eject this one too soon. Be sure to read the current edition of Blues Revue Magazine, Issue #99, for the feature on the JW-Jones Blues Band."

-John Taylor
Toronto Blues Society
April, 2006