Interview and photo by Jason Setnyk.
Cornwall Ontario — Music fans can expect a night of awesome guitar rifts and high energy blues when Canadian singer and guitarist JW Jones and his band come to Cornwall. He will be playing a gig at La Maison Tavern on Saturday September 19th. The Ottawa-born Juno nominated musician has an impressive resume having released eight albums and having performed in nineteen countries.
He has received a lot of critical acclaim including from a newspaper, to a Grammy winning-producer, and even a Ghostbuster!
“JW-Jones is a red hot young Canadian guitar slinger/singer“, says Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge. The Globe and Mail newspaper referred to this Maple Blues Award winner as “one of this country’s top blues guitar stars.” Billboard called JW part of “a new wave of young talent moving onto Canada’s blues stage. Canadian-born Hollywood actor Dan Aykroyd, known for his Blues Brothers persona “Elwood Blues,” has called JW’s group an “amazing blues band.”
Opening the show for JW Jones is the Marc Muir Trio led by music virtuoso and guitar ace Marc Muir. Doors are at 7pm and show time is 9pm. Ticket are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show. Tickets are available at La Maison Tavern and at Strung Out Guitars.
Here is Jason Setnyk’s interview with JW Jones.
Five Questions with JW Jones
1. What was it like being nominated for a Juno Award (Blues Album of the Year) and attending the Junos?
Belmont Boulevard (Blind Pig / Stony Plain / Warner) is a great record, and a big part of that is Grammy award winning producer, Tom Hambridge, who did an amazing job. We recorded in Nashville, and he brought some heavy hitters, including Reese Wynans from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble to play keys. In fact, the Juno nomination actually meant so much more to me after attending the event than it did when I first heard the news. I think it took some time to sink in and realize how special it is. The vibe of the entire weekend was happy and positive, and felt so good to be immersed in it. It’s pretty sweet to be at this stage of my career, rubbing shoulders with so many talented folks, both artists (Alanis, Daniel Lanois, Paul Brandt, Kira Isabella) and industry (Warner Music reps, etc), and I am extremely happy about where I’m at right now. Life is grand!
2. You received a Forty Under 40 Award by Ottawa Business Journal/Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. What are the challenges of being a musician and entrepreneur in the digital age / music streaming service age?
In the blues world, the majority of record sales come from the bandstand at shows, when people are excited and want to “take the band home” with them, as we call it, and this has been the case for a long time now. The challenge is that the majority of the time is being spent working the business side, bookings, media, and management that it just doesn’t leave as much time to be creative as I would like. This honour of being part of the Top 40 entrepreneurs in the nations capital meant more to me than any music award, because first off, I spend a lot of time on it, and secondly, it’s actually calculable. Awarding one piece of art over another is complicated, but when there is growth in business, on paper, that’s the real thing.
3. What did it mean for you to have your song “Parasomnia” appear on a Guitar World CD featuring music from the likes of B.B. King, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Carlos Santana?
This was a complete surprise to me! To be included among some of my heroes in any way at all really made me feel good. It’s a great song, the band is swinging and I had some great bebop lines on that song that I should go back and re-learn!
4. What are some of your most memorable experiences as a musician?
There are two career highlights I’d like to share. The first was a couple of years ago when I went to see Jimmie Vaughan in Hamilton. I walked into the dressing room, and Jimmie spotted me, came from the other side of the room and extended his hand, saying “hey man, I watch you on YouTube!” and then invited me to sit down and tell him how my career was going. I was beside myself. We spent before and after the show hanging out and chatting about everything from his farm animals to guitar tone. All of that led to me writing a song with producer Tom Hambridge called “What Would Jimmie Do?”. The second was this past spring when Buddy Guy joined us on stage at his club in Chicago, and then invited me to play as his guest on stage with him and his band for two shows in Ottawa. I had some really special moments with Buddy, and it felt like he was putting some wind in my sails to carry the blues torch forward. I’ve been listening to both of these guys since I was 14 years old, and now I am spending time with them and trading riffs. I’ve been extremely fortunate.
5. What can Cornwall music fans who have never seen you live expect to see/experience attending your concert? In your own words what are your concerts like?
We put on a high energy show, full of twists and turns to keep the audience engaged musically and visually. Most of what we do is improvised and happens differently at every show. Oh, and if you don’t know much about blues or don’t like it, come check it out, and I guarantee you’ll be converted before you leave the venue.
Thank you, JW Jones.
Thank you, Jason, and I hope to see you at the show!