Long John Hunter Now Booking for 2010-2011

Long John Hunter Still the “KING OF THE ROCKING WEST TEXAS BLUES”

In 1957, and for the next 13 years, Long John Hunter and his band of former Mexican bartenders played seven nights a week from sundown to sun up, against a colorful and dangerous backdrop of soldiers, tourists, frat boys, hookers, cowboys and playboys all fueled by a steady flow of alcohol, fights and one night stands.

“If it didn’t happen at the Lobby Bar,” recalls Long John, “it just didn’t happen in life.” The people in El Paso and Juarez wasted no time in proclaiming Long John Hunter their reigning King of Rocking West Texas Blues.

For more on Long John Hunter

Blues Guitarist Dennis Jones’ Pleasure and Pain Will Change Musical Landscape

Dennis Jones ~ Pleasure & Pain

Released Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Here’s what some nice folks have been saying about Dennis and Pleasure & Pain:

“Pleasure & Pain, is one rollickingly good time…” Greg Prato, Allmusic

“Dennis Jones has a forceful yet emotionally resonant vocal delivery, and his guitar playing is elegant virtuosity, in that masterful mode of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.” George Fish, Bloomington Alternative

“Jones is backed by a sturdy rhythm section (Michael Turner – drums, Tony Ruiz – bass) and with Jones’ stinging, searing leads and fills, that’s all that’s needed. He doesn’t overplay on his solos…..there’s not an extra note or anything out of place. Jones’ vocals are smooth, yet forceful, with just the right amount of tension in the background.” Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes

“From the opening horn blasts of the first cut “Brand New Day,” Jones revels in a passionate and fresh approach to the blues that carries through this entire CD. He brandishes his guitar with flair, his vocals are creative and self-assured while his songwriting has taken a big step forward. This is clearly an evolved and self-realized Dennis Jones.” Michael Kinsman, Blues Lovers United of San Diego

“Pleasure and Pain is his best effort and truly one of the year’s best discs to date. It will leap out and grab you from the opening notes of “Brand New Day” with its great horn lines, and doesn’t let up through 11 really fine original tunes.” Brett Fleming ,”Soul Stew”, WEVL Memphis

“Dennis Jones is a maverick blazing blues trails with great songs and blistering guitar.” Zac Harmon

“Dennis Jones is a helluva guitar player, vocalist, songwriter and great entertainer. And you can’t beat him as a human being.” Guitar Shorty

Blues guitar heroes are like a major hurricane that blows down everything in their path, changing the musical landscape as surely as category 5 tropical storms alter the terra firma. Since Stevie Ray Vaughan perished tragically in 1990, however, the winds of change have been brief squalls at best. Until now. Dennis Jones, with his third release, Pleasure & Pain (Blue Rock Records) has the explosive guitar power, along with his voice and songs, to make his contemporaries quake in their boots.

Jones was born in Baltimore, Maryland. The drums were his first passion and they still inform his relentless grooves. He started playing guitar at 13, took a few informal lessons from a friend who taught him “House of the Rising Sun,” and was rocking out with his Marshall stack two years later in a band with older cats. His tastes evolved in tandem with his skills as the rock of the Rolling Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan and Santana influenced him profoundly, along with sixties guitar Greats Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and Jimmy Page. Combined with the blues legends B.B., Albert and Freddie King and the R&B of Al Green, James Brown and Motown, the results are a human music machine who can fry the strings of his Strat while singing from deep in his soul.

From 1977-80 Jones was in the service and stationed in Germany where he gained further experience with a variety of bands. In 1985 he made Los Angeles his home and headed a Led Zeppelin-meets-Funkadelic band called Blackhead that attracted industry attention. However, in the 90s he formed the Dennis Jones Band and eventually made a commitment to house rocking blues.

Pleasure & Pain contains 11 blazingly intense original numbers. “Brand New Day” does not just swing the shuffle; it kicks it all over the lot as Jones exhorts “Dance the blues away!” “Don’t Worry About Me” adds an element of contemporary vocal harmony, reminiscent of the Sopranos theme song, to the booty-bumping minor funk. He engages in some winking braggadocio by singing “no beg, no way” in “I’m Good” over the hardest pounding shuffle rhythm highlighted by his string punishing picking. Jones changes tack in “Kill the Pain” with a slow, raunchy boogie exposing the futility of cocaine abuse and featuring low down country blues licks elevated to inflammatory levels. “Blue Over You” finds him playing infectious, funky lead/rhythm guitar, with a nod to the Voodoo Child, in a hook-laden number that has hit radio potential. “Sunday Morning Rain” takes yet a different turn as a pop rock ballad that would not be out of place in Nashville as Jones croons his melancholy tale of romantic woe. The driving minor key rocker “Home Tonight” displays an urgency that permeates the entire album.

“Try Not to Lie” rocks the blues like a certain trio from Texas as Jones addresses a common theme with the ironic “If you try not to lie, I will try to do the same.” “I Want It Yesterday” is a nasty slice of ominous, heavy riff rock while “Him or Me” channels Jimi in an impressive display of trio rock that rumbles and roars with fury. Closing the astounding set is the charging and lusty musical locomotive called “Hot Sauce” that fittingly has Jones quoting “Third Rock from the Sun” within the dynamic “call and response” framework.

When not writing songs for his own use, Jones dedicates his time to writing songs for his friends and guitar heroes. Guitar Shorty in his next album coming out on Alligator Records 2009/2010 is covering one such song, “Temporary Man”.

It is risky to make predictions, but if anyone has a legitimate shot at filling the blues guitar hero void it is Dennis Jones. He has the head, heart and hands to do it.

Dave Rubin, 2005 KBA award winner in journalism

Published in: on August 1, 2009 at 2:12 AM  Leave a Comment  
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