Vizztone Label Group
Lloyd Jones was born in Portland in 1950. His father was a trumpet player, and his older brother taught him drums. As a teenager he took up guitar. Early blues and soul influences include Muddy Waters; Walter Horton; Jimmy Reed, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and James Brown. At one-time Jones was in a duo with harpist Curtis Salgado who left to join Roomful of Blues. Jones released his debut album “Small Potatoes” in 1976 (re-issued in 1989), with bassist James Solberg, and backing singers Salgado and Linda Hornbuckle. He found work with Earl King, Big Mama Thornton and Albert Collins. Jones formed a new band and released the Lloyd Jones “Struggle” in 1989; and began to rack up Muddy awards from the Cascade Blues Association. In 1995 Jones recorded two albums, “Have Mercy – Live” on Burnside, and “Trouble Monkey” on Audioquest. In 1999 Jones released “Love Gotcha” on Blind Pig. It would be twelve more years before the exceedingly successful “Highway Bound”, on Underworld Records, with special guests Salgado and Charlie Musselwhite. He followed up in 2012 with Reference Recordings “Doin’ What It Takes”.
This new album was inspired by Delbert McClinton’s “Sandy Beaches” Cruise. Produced by Kevin McKendree, the album was recorded and mixed at McKendree’s Rock House Studio in Franklin, Tennessee. The core band includes Jones, guitar and vocals; McKendree, keyboards; Steve Mackey, bass; Kenneth Blevins, drums; and percussionist Reinhardt Melz. The horn section includes Jim Hoke, tenor saxophone; Quentin Ware, trumpet, and Roy Agee, Trombone. The background vocalists are Etta Britt and Jackie Wilson. Special guests include vocalists Delbert McClinton, Teresa James, and LaRonda Steele.
All of the songs were written by Jones; including two co-written with McKendree and Gary Nicholson. Jones calls the core unit The Fabulous Band of Funkstivity and they back him, sans horns, on four tracks. Jones has a soul drenched voice similar to that of Tommy Castro. He sings a fabulous duet with Teresa James on “I Wish I Could Remember Loving You” with McKendree’s piano and a wicked guitar solo. Jones also shares a duet with Delbert McClinton on “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool”. The other two tunes performed with just the four-piece unit are “Chicken Bones” and “Dilly Dally”.
The expanded band is featured on ten more songs including “You Got Me Good”; “Me & You” with a horn arrangement and solo from Hoke; the hilarious funky “Where’s My Phone?”; “Every Time We Meet”, and the passionate “A True Love Never Dies” with a horn arrangement from Glenn Holstrom and another outstanding guitar solo. The two co-written tunes are the funky “Bayou Boys” with Blevins’ big beats and McKendree on organ; and the fabulous “Love Is Everything”. A Third duet “That’s All I Want” features Jones getting down and funky with LaRonda Steele. Jones closes with the soon-to-be classic “Chevrolet Angel”. Jones is a great guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter.
Jones is one of those under-heralded artists from the Pacific Northwest. This “Tennessee Run” should change all that.