Ahead of his appearance at the Melbourne Guitar Show, guitarist Dennis Jones answers a few of our questions:
Name: Dennis Jones Member of Band: Leader/Guitar Vocals
How long have you been playing guitar?
Why did you first start playing guitar?
I had friends that played in bands so I asked my parents to buy me a guitar for Christmas.
Which guitarist influenced your playing?
More than one but Hendrix was a big influence.
Describe your favorite guitar.
Fender Stratocaster with a fat rosewood neck.
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
Driving from Los Angeles to Austin TX nonstop and pretending to run out of gas at 3am. My band mates didn’t think it was funny! I did.
What, or who, inspires you?
People with positive attitudes that never give up.
Which song do you wish you wrote the riff for?
Seven Nation Army
What is the best thing about the Melbourne Guitar Show this August?
It’s my first time but I’m hoping it’s being inspired by other musicians.
Why should people come to your showcase at the Guitar Show?
Because I’m a nice guy and people like me. Lol Hopefully because they’ll like my music.
What’s your scene?
Blues Rock & Funk. Heavy on the Blues.
Catch Dennis Jones playing at the Melbourne Guitar Show on Saturday 3rd August at 3:15 at the March Whammy Bar Stage.
DENNIS JONES is the epitome of cool. Laid back and smooth by nature but put him on a stage and the energy level of the room instantly becomes electric. Sizzling hot guitar solos, soulful vocals and a high-octane brand of blues-rock is what’s guaranteed. Dennis’s feet are firmly rooted in the past, yet his heart and soul are connected to the present. He writes songs that seamlessly blend the best of both worlds, presenting a unique and contemporary style of American rock and blues. You can hear Dennis’ powerful concoction of blues-rock on any of his 6 recordings, including 2018’s fabulous live album WE3 Live.
Born and raised in the small town of Monkton, Maryland (population 4,856) Dennis had a humble but loving childhood, with parents who encouraged his music making, buying his first guitar at the age of 13. Inspired by the instrument, Dennis had developed his chops to the point that he was playing in bands just three years later. Soaking up the sounds of the family record collection, the songs of Hendrix, Dylan, Joplin, Mahalia Jackson, James Brown and Al Green, were all infused into his DNA.
With a thirst to learn and an appreciation of music history, later Dennis developed his own musical tastes and gravitated to the licks of The Stones, Led Zeppelin, Zappa and Rory Gallagher. “I was into blues but didn’t really know it at the time because I was into a lot of this British stuff… I did reverse engineering on the blues,” Dennis says. “I listened to rock and found out where they all got it from and realised it was a lot of old black music from New Orleans, the south in the states and Chicago as well.”
While stationed in Germany, serving his country in the military, Dennis not only had the opportunity to play small European clubs but also had the chance to experience performances by some of rock’s real legends live in concert such as Clapton, Dylan, Rory Gallagher and Rufus Thomas, even the Bon Scottera AC/DC, gigs which inspired him further.
As his playing matured and his reputation grew, so too did the learning opportunities. He’s opened for the likes of Buddy Guy and Dick Dale and not only enjoyed a support spot with another of his music heroes Johnny Winter, but also got to spend some invaluable one on one time with Johnny in his trailer, picking his brain and devouring the wisdom. Similarly, Dennis was granted time with Robert Jr Lockwood (The only guitarist to have learned to play directly from Robert Johnson) at a Blues Festival on Catalina Island, a meeting in which Lockwood revelled in the chance to give Jones his personal insight into the blues. George Benson was another great who took the time to chat with Dennis and offer some great career guidance.
Dennis Jones has always taken that sage advice with gratitude and applied it wisely to his own career. With a strong work ethic and a passion for music, Dennis has been able to travel the world, playing to appreciative audiences in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, France, Poland and Italy, not to mention the thousands of miles he travels each year to gigs in his own country… and those gigs keep getting bigger. In September this year, soon after his Australian tour, one of Jones’ first spots will be on the acclaimed Big Blues Bender bill in Las Vegas alongside Gov’t Mule, Robert Cray, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Allman Betts Band and Tab Benoit to name a few.
“The genre is contemporary blues, and Jones plays serious guitar with the heart of a bluesman and the soul of a Baptist minister.” Oscar Jordan, Vintage Guitar Magazine
“I highly recommend this album for anybody that loves and appreciates guitar Blues done Magnificently.” Peter Merrett, PBS 106.7, Melbourne
“It’s risky to make predictions, but if anyone has a legitimate shot at filling the blues guitar hero void it is Dennis Jones. He has the head, heart and hands to do it.” Dave Rubin, “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award winning journalist.
They’re all talking about this amazing blues-rock, singer, songwriter and guitar slinger and now it’s Australia’s turn to jump onboard the Dennis Jones express! A few exclusive dates have been announced.
Kicking off with a headlining spot at the prestigious Melbourne
Guitar Show on August 3rd at Caulfield Racecourse, Dennis Jones then plays exclusive dates at the Fyrefly St.Kilda on August 9th and Hepburn Palais on August 11.
“I think the grand plan is to conquer the world man,” Dennis says enthusiastically of his long term plans. “I want to continue to play around the world and become more well known in places like Australia and Europe and even the United States too. I want to expand what I am doing and give people joy with my music, that’s my main goal.”
Dennis Jones is an international blues star on the rise.
Catch him up close and personal while you still can!
DENNIS JONES TOUR DATES
Saturday Aug 3rd, 2019
Friday August 9th, 2019
The Fyrefly, St.Kilda Tickets HERE fyreflystkilda.com.au
Sunday August 11th, 2019