by Norman Darwen
The first four tracks encapsulate Arkansas-born Billy Jones. ...a wicked, raw, live version of Albert King's 'Personal Manager', 'my Hometown', a bleak, stark portrayal of the ghetto set to a busy but laid-back and bluesy musical commentary that epitomizes what some have defined as his "gangsta bluez" (...though it is perhaps even better on 'Ain't Good Lookin'), the rocking, rollicking, down-home, and subtly Howling Wolf inflected 'Blues Comes Callin'' and the bluesy/ reggae fusion of 'Revolution Bluez' with its doomy lyrics and distorted guitar break. If you can, try to hear 'Crystal' "rock guitar put to proper use within the blues " or the smooth urban contemporary sound of 'Never Let You Go' for a complete contrast. I first encountered Billy's music via his two albums on the Dutch label Black & Tan and felt that it was a real travesty and pretty incomprehensible that no-one in the American blues industry had picked up on this extremely talented young blues-and-then-some-man. He has an excellent voice, a committed attitude, contemporary sensibilities with deep blues roots, and a strong sense of what is right musically and otherwise. I still find it hard to believe no-one in the USA has picked him up yet. But if the right people hear this, that could ...and should - change very quickly indeed.
copyright 2011 by the writer and Blues On Stage: www.mnblues.com