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Jony James Blues
"Live at the Tudor"
Name a blues festival or venue in WNY
and the Jony James Band has played there. While the band has fans and has
played all over the country, the band always considers WNY and their Sunday
gigs at Frank’s Tudor Lounge as home. Having played at the Tudor since
1997, the band decided this was where to record their fourth CD titled
appropriately, Jony James Blues Band- Live At The Tudor.
The Jony James Band consists of Jony James on guitar and vocals and one
of the hardest working and best sounding rhythm sections in Rod Horning
on bass and Kent “Boom-Boom” Leech on drums. You don’t have a nickname
like “Boom-Boom” unless you’re in demolition or a drummer like Leech. Horning
and Leech pound out a solid sound so Jony can get fancy on the guitar.
The two disc twelve song CD is a mix
of blues classics and some of James own compositions. On the classic side
the band runs through Chester Burnett’s (AKA Howlin’ Wolf) “Killing Floor”
done in the familiar Jimi Hendrix version. They tackle Robert Johnson’s
“Love In Vain” which most recognize from the Stones version but Jony and
the band do it right with none of Mick’s pretentiousness.
Jony and the boys get jazzy on Buddy
Johnson’s “Since I Fell For You”. On this James croaks and croons
in his whiskey and cigarettes soaked voice as the rhythm section lays it
on thick, heavy and solid. “Since I Fell” is always a crowd pleaser in
their performances. The band also does a fine run through of “Rock Me”
from the B.B. King catalog and a sizzling “Let The Chips Fall Where They
May” by Bob Greenlee. Inspired renderings of his own songs include “Drive
Me Crazy”, “So Long Sugar” and “Voices” with Jony doing some George Benson
scatting for good measure.
The CD was produced by Jony James
and recorded by Rod Horning and is as close sounding as their actual live
show. True “blues men” to their souls you can catch them at The Tudor and
all around town, you won’t be disappointed.
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