This is Lloyd Jones’ debut record on Blind Pig. He isn’t a household name as yet, but mark my words, this cat is on the move. Predominately, a West Coast player, Jones came of age in the middle sixties and by the early seventies his band was one of the most popular acts in and around the Portland area. His education came by way of touring musicians such as: Charlie Musselwhite, the Johnny Otis show, Big Mama Thornton, George "Harmonica" Smith, and Big Walter Horton. There were many other acts that followed throughout the years, and with a keen eye he soaked up the sounds. In the eighties, Lloyd formed a new band and recorded several albums with Criminal Records, and one on the Burnside label: Lloyd ‘Have Mercy’ Jones—Live! I came into contact with Lloyd’s grooves in 1995, when he recorded an album for the Audio Quest label, entitled Trouble Monkey—a highly requested disc in my abode whenever we get into the party spirit! What grabs me is Lloyd’s blend of blues, funk, R&B, and soul ala Memphis style. His song writing abilities are without question, equally brilliant as his guitar and vocals would dictate. Both Joe Louis Walker, and Gatemouth Brown have covered several of his compositions. The horn arrangements on this disc totally kick with Terry Evans on background vocals. Of the twelve songs, Jones wrote nine of them, and of the three covers; I’d have to rate Brownie McGhee and S. Terry’s, Ride And Roll at the top. The first track: Nickels And Dimes is where it should be—I love this song and wouldn’t change the arrangement in the least. With songs like Love Gotcha, Shake ‘Em Up, and Highway Rider, it’s easy to see where Lloyd Jones is going--to a town near you. "Be There Or Be Square!" Take this one home and shake a leg.
This review is copyright © 1999 by Dick Houff, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.