My older brother played drums and showed me how. Then he took me to his band rehearsals and had me playing gigs when I was just 13. He took me to see James Brown in '64. You've got to imagine James in '64 - ouch! Then B.B.
King, Buddy Guy, even Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - all this before I was out of high school. I was underage and totally mesmerized" Jones got deep into the blues and was the leader of Portland's most popular blues bands, Brown Sugar, in the early 70's. "We got to work with touring musicians in those days, like Charlie Musselwhite, George "Harmonica" Smith, the Johnny Otis show, Big Mama Thornton and Big Walter Horton. That's how we learned, and that's really when I first picked up the guitar.
A lot of times these people would stay at our homes and teach us music and history. Some of them have passed now, so I cherish those memories. S.P. Leary, who was in Muddy Waters band and was playing drums with Big Walter at the time, leaned over to me as he was leaving town and said, "Man, I'm getting old.
You gotta keep it alive. It's a struggle sometimes, but if you love it, you keep on struggling."' Through the years Jones would continue to hone his craft by performing with the likes of Albert Collins, Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, B.B. King, Dr. John, John Hammond, Etta James, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy, and many more music legends. In the 80's Jones joined forces with ex-Robert Cray singer/harp player Curtis Salgado in a band called In Yo' Face.
"That was one fun band! Seemed like we all had the same record collection. Curtis really pushed me as a guitar player, and when he left in '85 to join Roomful of Blues I knew it was time to play my music." Jones knew what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it. The Lloyd Jones Struggle started in 1985 as a vehicle for his songwriting. "I love a good story.
Most of the traditional blues stayed with a shuffle or slow blues. Being a drummer I keep hearing the rhythm of the words all broke down funky and swamp-afied; nice and relaxed but kind of turned inside out." Jones made two recordings in the late 80's for Criminal Records: The Lloyd Jones Struggle (1987) and Small Potatoes (1989). They won over a dozen local music awards, as well as acclaim from national music publications such as Down Beat and Guitar Player, which in turn led to some extensive touring for the band on the Miller Beer Sponsorship Program. In 1993 Jones released his third album, Lloyd `Have Mercy' Jones - Live! on the Burnside Records label. In 1995 Lloyd Jones recorded a highly acclaimed album for the Audio Quest label, entitled Trouble Monkey.
Blues Revue named it, "not only one of the best albums of 1995, it is one of the best albums of the 1990's," while Robert Cray called it "the best damn record I've heard in a long time!" Vintage Guitar Magazine said, "Jones offers vocals that would make Sam and Dave smile and guitar work Steve Cropper would be proud of" and referred to his affecting vocals as "gritty as a dirt road and smooth as melting butter." Lloyd's songwriting was starting to be noticed as well, with Joe Louis Walker and Gatemouth Brown covering two of his compositions. Jones and his band have become a mainstay on the West Coast circuit, and have brought their tasteful, crowd-pleasing brand of music from New Orleans to Canada to the Caribbean, where Delbert McClinton witnessed a performance and remarked, "When I heard Lloyd Jones live for the first time in January 1999, it was like exhaling after holding my breath for fifteen years." It was such a typically memorable set at the Santa Cruz Blues Festival that led to Jones' signing by Blind Pig Records. Jones describes his soulful and intelligent fusion of funk, blues, and R&B as "storytelling with a Memphis groove." His latest CD, Love Gotcha, presents Lloyd's writing at its trenchant best. His songs have the quality that makes them sound as if they have been around as blues standards for years or they seem to have fallen out of some time warp from the golden days of R&B. His approach to the guitar is both economical and rhythmically sophisticated, with a style that can be as delicate as it is devastating. And Jones' accomplished guitar and vocal work are complemented throughout the recording by some of the funkiest horn-rhythm-organ arrangements around. Blues lovers everywhere are about to discover what Lloyd Jones' fans already know - one taste of his beguiling music and you're captivated.
Lloyd's gotcha! Blind Pig Records A division of Whole Hog, Inc. PO. Box 2344, San Francisco, CA 94126 Official Website: Lloyd James Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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