Guitarist L. A. Jones and his band The Blues Messengers are consummate road warriors, performing over 200 shows a year. Now California-based, the band originally hailed from Austin, Texas, the famed hotbed of Texas blues and lightning fast guitarists. Because of the critical acclaim received by the left-handed guitarist, L. A. Jones, the band has been able to back such blues notables as Otis Rush, Joe Houston, Pinetop Perkins and Eddie Kirkland in between their own busy schedule. As a guitarist, L. A. Jones has built a reputation as an extremely talented guitarist and band leader, who brings showmanship to his performances, along with his exceptional musical talent. Among his most unique talents however, is the fact that Jones is equally adept at playing his guitar either left OR right-handed, making him truly unique in his profession.
The latest release by L. A. Jones and the Blues Messengers is called Birthday Suit. With eight of the ten songs on this studio recording written and performed by L.A. Jones, listeners can get the full picture of Jones' talents as a singer, songwriter and a guitarist, backed by his talented band including Rick Reed (bass), Hank Deluxe (drums), Benny Yee (keyboards), "Magic" Dave Therault (harp, Andy Martin (tenor sax), Stan Martin (trumpet) and Scott Martin (trombone). The music on Birthday Suit offers a nice blending of Chicago and Texas blues with a Memphis-flavor thrown into the mix with the inclusion of the full horn section.
Jones' guitar work has been compared to a number of blues guitar giants including Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and the late, great Albert King. As a matter of fact, Jones sounds like each one of these venerable gentlemen, depending on the song. The single note bends of Albert show up on "The Blues Is Brewing," with evidence of the burning slow blues of Otis Rush revealing itself on "How Blue Can You Get?". Buddy Guy's influence comes to the forefront on "Off The Edge Of The Earth." Just for good measure, check out the slide guitar on "Tumblin Tumbleweed" for some VERY Muddy Waters-like slide guitar. Muddy's influence also is apparent on the finale of the CD "Queen of Hearts," a down and dirty acoustic blues tune.
Jones' vocals, particularly on the original material, blend well with the music and in many cases features some hookish lyrics that take on both seriou s, as well as humorous sides as is apparent on songs like the title track "Birthday Suit," as well as "I Got A Rap Sheet On You Baby" and "Smokin' Drinkin' Woman."
To see why L. A. Jones and the Blues Messengers have received such critical acclaim, check out their latest CD, Birthday Suit. To learn more about the band or to pick up any of their other CDs (they have six), visit the L. A. Jones and the Blues Messengers website at www.lajones.com.
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