Blues collective usually every Tuesday with Ventura's finest!
Blues collective usually every Tuesday with Ventura's finest!
— VC Buzz (Cover)
— Maverick Magazine
“Shawn Jones opens for Jimmie Vaughan at The Coach House! September 10th, 2010 As for second opener Shawn Jones, well, every time I have caught him live I’ve been more impressed. As outstanding as he was when I first saw him perform at the Doheny Blues Festival in May 2008, the talented singer-songwriter-guitarist just keeps getting better. On Thursday night, he impressed mightily with accessible and infectious blues-rock, anchored by his dazzling guitar playing, formidable voice and original songwriting — all of which quickly won over many who were introduced to his craft during his forceful 40-minute performance. Songs such as the confessional “Glorybound” and the rocker “I Can’t Help Myself” proved how deftly Jones can blend Delta blues, gospel, folk and R&B into a winning style. Yet, despite Jones’ clearly apparent all-around skills, the bandleader remains unsigned. The good news is that he performs in Orange County frequently, and his self-released albums deliver the same power he demonstrated here at the Coach House.” - Robert Kinsler
““Working” and “musician” are words that are too often seldom seen in concert but then along came Jones — that would be Shawn Jones, of the Shawn Jones Band. Guitar player Jones will lead his boys during a Sunday afternoon gig up all those stairs at the Watermark in Ventura. Since SoCal has not had a pro football team for years, this one is a viable option, particularly for those indifferent to Monday morning productivity. Solidifying this one as a cultural landslide, there’s no dress code on these Sunday afternoon shows. Jones, a new Venturan these days, is not just a working musician but a hardworking one. Jones plays more than 200 gigs a year. That’s a bunch. Doing that Americana bluesy rock thing, Jones is good enough to have recorded several albums, played with Waylon Jennings (among others) and still tours with Deana Carter. He’s currently hard at work at on his fifth album. He discussed the latest during a recent phoner. Shawn Jones The Ventura-based blues guitarist will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday at Watermark, 598 E. Main St., Ventura. Admission is free. Call 643-6800. Jones' Web site is http://www.shawnjonesmusic.com. ----------------------- Courtesy photo Shawn Jones Hey, Shawn, how’s the music biz treating you? Well, I’m staying busy, real busy. Doing a lot of gigging, doing a little bit of touring and just trying to keep the old head above water, you know? How are these Watermark gigs? You’ve played there a few times? Yeah, I’ve done close to a dozen shows there and they’ve been going real good. Mark’s (Hartley) got a great place there and we’ve been getting quite the little stir going on. And I just bought a house in Ventura over by the high school, so I’m a Ventura resident now. So those gigs are solo or do you have a band? It’s always a full band — drums, bass, keyboards and myself. We’re working on our fifth album right now. We’ve got three studio albums, one live one and we’re working on another studio album, which is the one we’re finishing up right now. It should be done around January or February. How does an indie guy make it in an indie world these days? Well, you just got to be out there hustling, doing as many decent gigs as you can, pushing the product and looking for new avenues online, seeing how everything is going to downloading these days. You have to look to creative ways to direct people to your music on the Internet. What does Shawn Jones music sound like? It’s roots music — blues, rock and country and R&B. My dad raised me on Hank Williams then I got off into Jimi then after that, I fell in love with the songwriting of all the classic R&B guys, so it’s kind of an infusion of all that’s American and the last four years, I’ve been touring over in Ireland and England quite a bit, so I’ve been taking on a lot of those influences as well and have writing some Celtic-style stuff. So how is it touring in Europe? Do they appreciate American music more than they do over here? Well, in different ways, they do. What we take for granted here, they eat it up over there. They love the classic blues, R&B, country rock. That stuff is roots music for them because, you know, it’s not from there. Yeah, that stuff is ours, man. It’s ours — but in the country music world anyway, you know, a lot of that music came from the Appalachians, which originally came from over there. The early traditional music from Ireland and England transferred over to America and we’ve taken it and run with it over here, but the pop and blues and jazz thing — that’s a whole other deal, man, that’s truly American. How did you get to be the guitar player? Well, there was always a guitar around the house and my dad taught me a few chords. There was always one around to beat up but he gave me my official guitar when I was 9 and I started playing. I couldn’t put it down and I still haven’t been able to. When was your first band? I started writing songs when I was about 12 but I was in show groups and choir all through elementary school and then midway through high school, I started putting together groups and we played the pizza parlors and the high school parties, backyard parties — wherever we could gig, you know? I was playing Hollywood by the time I was 19. We rented charter busses and dragged people along from my hometown, which was San Bernardino. By 1990, I was in a gospel blues band that toured to Norway and Holland. I did that for a while then I ended up moving to Nashville. It was a choice between Austin and Nashville and I chose Nashville for the songwriting. So I moved there in ’93, then moved back here in ’94 and got a call from Waylon Jennings and ended up being his manager for a year and a half; I toured with him and did a record with him in ’96 and parlayed into a deal with Chrysalis and from that, I got some film and television work and eventually, I just ended up doing my own independent thing. When’s the last time you had a day job? Ironically, when I was in Nashville. I was working as a roofer, doing landscaping and I worked in a coffeehouse, so the times I had a real job was in Music City. What was your strangest gig? The strangest was probably when we played in an Amsterdam prison for a bunch of angry inmates. I would say the next strangest and most rewarding was playing for the troops in the Green Zone in Iraq in 2004. That was an amazing journey and I’d also have to say Bosnia that winter of 2004. That was pretty bizarre very cold. We were going to play a Fourth of July gig for the troops at the Saddam Hussein Airport but right before went on, a mortar round came in and landed about 80 to 100 yards away, so they bussed us out before we did our show. What’s the next step? Working on finishing my next CD, living in Ventura, getting ready to do a DVD, looking for a nice theatre, maybe up in Ventura County, maybe at the Ventura Theatre or maybe at The Lodge or maybe at the Ojai Theatre, probably go into rehearsals for that after the first of the year. And I’m also playing guitar for Deana Carter, the country singer, and we’ve been touring a bunch, so like I said, just staying busy.” - Bill Locey
“SHAWN JONES Often we don’t realize how many highly accomplished musicians are in our midst, playing bars and small clubs around Ventura County to smallish crowds. So it is with Shawn Jones, who’s been quietly establishing himself in Ventura’s music scene though he’s credited on records by a laundry list of R&B and Nashville heavy hitters. With five albums under his belt and a relentless U.S. and international touring schedule, Shawn’s skill as a songwriter and vocalist in the vein of Stevie Winwood has put him on stage with the likes of Leon Russell, Eric Johnson, Derek Trucks, David Lindley and others. In 2007 he played on Deanna Carter’s The Chain and Waylon Jennings was so impressed with his live performance that he took Jones under his wing, offering him recording and live gigs. Sunday, May 17, 2 p.m. Watermark W20 Lounge, 598 E. Main St., Ventura. 643-6800, www.myspace.com/shawnjonesmusic.” - Ventura County, CA