Andrew ‘Jr. Boy’ Jones – Gettin’ Real
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Guitarist, songwriter and singer Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones began working professionally at age 16 with Freddie King’s backing band, the Thunderbirds. He got his first guitar from his uncle, jazz musician Adolphus Sneed. Jones cites an eclectic array of influences: Freddie King, Cornell Dupree and Larry Carlton. For many years, he’s backed various Dallas-area vocalists on guitar, but in the mid-1990s, he came into his own as a vocalist with an album for JSP Records, I Need Time (1997), which showcases his crafty songwriting, great guitar playing, and powerful singing.
In 1967, Jones joined Dallas-area vocalist Bobby Patterson’s outfit, the Mustangs. Through most of the 1970s, Jones backed various artists, including Patterson, Johnnie Taylor and Charlie Robertson. In late 1987, he went to California and joined the Silent Partners with bassist Russell Jackson and drummer Tony Coleman, the latter of whom is best known for his work with B.B. King’s orchestra. Jones recorded with Bay-area piano player and singer Katie Webster on her critically praised Alligator Records album, Swamp Boogie Queen.
Jones met harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite at a Sonny Rhodes recording session, and Musselwhite persuaded him to stay in California and join his band. Jones played guitar on Musselwhite’s three late-1980s/early-1990s albums for Alligator Records (Ace of Harps, In My Time, and Signature). He also had the chance to do some extensive world touring with the harmonica master.
Jones left Musselwhite’s band amicably in the mid-1990s and is now back in Dallas, where he accompanies Dallas-area blues singers like R.L. Griffin, Hal Harris and the Lowlifers, and others.
1. Struggle - 4:29 2. People Say I’m Crazy - 5:26 3. Negative Talkin’ - 4:02 4. Lonely Times - 4:27 5. Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You - 4:09 6. Don’t Get It Twisted - 4:54 7. Good Lovin’ - 4:17 8. Just Playin’ the Blues - 3:45 9. Hell In My House - 6:32 10. What’s Goin’ On - 6:00
Andrew Jr. Boy Jones (guitar, vocals) , John Street (keyboards) , Tommy Tucker (bass) , Jamil Byrom (drums) , Cheryl Arena (harmonica)
1. AllMusic - G. Nastos
A deep, youthful and fun-loving attitude pervades the music of Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones and his Texas-based blues. Tacked on to his spare guitar work and easygoing vocal style, Jones makes music all his own, allowing space for two instrumentals, one a pleasant version of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On?." With his locally based band featuring harmonica player Cheryl Arena and keyboardist John Street, Jr., Jones plays a variety of contemporary blues songs rooted in tradition, and sounds like he's lived life beyond his years. Like Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble," "Struggle" sounds like a perfect anthem for tough times in a funky, choogling Southern pace. "Just Playin' the Blues" comes close to a signature tune in a lighter, honest mood, while the slow, low-down "Hell in My House" is so personalized, it could easily become a classic. Jones also digs the 12-bar style as heard on the worn-out blues of "Negative Talkin'," or "Lonely Times." Sans vocals, "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You" is a swing/shuffle with the instruments telling this cautionary tale, but "Don't Get It Twisted" offers another stern vocal warning in the more standard urban sense, with Street's burning organ emphasizing the point. This is a promising artist and album, proving that roadhouse blues is far from dead, and has new blood to keep the spirits singing.
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