Hmm... I don't know if we can be friends.
My first introduction to Blues came, inadvertently, when I was maybe nine years old, through a Rock band. I've told this story before: when I was eight, in 1973, my father took me to Sam the Record Man. He was looking for Cat Stevens' latest album, and he let me roam the store to look for a record of my own. He thought I would head to the children's music section but instead, I stayed with him at the front of the store, at the stack of new releases.
I was mesmerized by an orange cover that appeared to have naked girls climbing over strange rocks. There was no writing on the cover, so I couldn't immediately determine who the band was or the name of the album (it was written on the spine, but at the time I didn't think to look there). I chose that album—my father asked me if I was sure, and I was—and the purchase was made.
The album was Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy.
A year or so later, I had the band's previous four albums and played them incessantly, much to my mother's chagrin.
At that age, I didn't know the difference between Rock and Blues, but I did know that I loved "Since I Been Loving You, " "I Can’t Quit You Baby," and "You Shook Me" as much as I loved "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)," "The Immigrant Song," and "The Song Remains the Same." So, when I finally became formally introduced to Blues, I was already a fan.
Over the years, I've seen some Blues giants: Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy (and his late brother, Phil), Koko Taylor, and the late, great B.B. King. Of course, we have some outstanding Blues artists in Ottawa, too: Terry Gillespie (I know, he's more Ottawa Valley than Ottawa, but close enough), The Jivewires, and Monkey Junk, to name a few, but one local Blues artist that my family and I have become hooked on, of late, is Juno-nominated, electrifying JW Jones.
I've written about this Blues-man and his band—which includes drummer, Will Laurin, and 2017 Maple Blues Bassist of the Year, Laura Greenberg—before. They are the organizers of the Ottawa Youth-in-Blues series (#FutureBlues), in which they invite Ottawa's budding talent to experience the thrill of performing, live, with JW and his band. It's an awesome show.
This week, JW Jones is performing for two evenings, in Aylmer, QC, and recording the band's upcoming live album. If you love Blues and want to support this local group, and if you want to say that you're on a live album, come on out. Here are the details:
JW-Jones Live Album RecordingThe venue is limited to approximately 40 seats at 10 tables, which are intended for people that are pregnant, have disabilities, or may have difficulty standing for the duration of the show (such as me). All other tickets are for standing room only.
Cabaret La Basoche—Centre Culturel Vieux-Aylmer, 120 Rue Principal, Gatineau
April 4 and 5, 2018—doors open at 6:45; show starts at 7:45
Tickets (General Admission): $33.90 [$30 + 13% HST]
To purchase your tickets, go to JW Jones' Web site, where you will get more information about how to do so.
DD14, who has played with JW and Laura a couple of times, will be with me to support the band and sway to the Blues on their first night. My father, who bought me my first Led Zeppelin album and inadvertently got me hooked on Blues as a kid, will be joining us.
We hope to see you there!