SPOTLIGHT SUNDAY – KERRIE LEPAI JONES “MY FIRST DATE WITH THE BLUES!”

Welcome to another Sunday Spotlight! I am SO excited about the music artist I am turning my blog over to today and I know you are going to enjoy learning about her! Take it away, Kerrie!

For as long as I can remember, there was only one thing I wanted to be when I grew up ― a singer. As a small girl, I remember watching the black-and-white Shirley Temple movies. I just loved them. I would daydream and picture myself doing everything she did. It was always like that for me no matter who I saw singing on the big screen or big stage

Over the years, I would sing at church or in the choir at school, but it was nothing like the experience I had in 1993 when I sang with a live band for the first time.

I was very green, and if I am honest, I really did not know how to sing with a live band. I knew, however, I just had to get on that stage and try. I was living on my own, just down the street from Schooners Blues Bar, in Dallas, Tx. I walked down to the bar during the day, and it was dark and empty except for a few people. I was a bit nervous, but I wanted a job. Two gentlemen were sitting at the bar with a space between them, so I sat down. Little did I know it was Sam Myers and Joe Jonas (both local blues singers).

Sam and Joe

I said to the bartender, “Excuse me, are you hiring? I can work any shift, and I live right down the street?”

Sam, the gentleman to the left of me, said, “Put me on her resume.”

Joe quickly chimed in, “Me too.”

The man behind the bar, Jerry Weber, hired me on the spot. I was so happy. I’m not sure if my feet touched the ground as I skipped all the way home. I started working on a Monday night. It didn’t matter to me that it was an off night; I was just happy to have a job. The band was the Holland K Smith band. I didn’t know much about the blues genre. However, I knew that I absolutely had to get on that stage and sing.

I asked a bartender, “What blues song should I learn so I can join in on the jam?”

He said, “Tore Down.” So, “Tore Down” it was.

I learned the song and when I got my chance to sing it … Well, let me tell you … I was not prepared for the euphoric feeling. It was like I transcended to another planet. I was nervous, but I got up and sang that damn song. I felt the bass drum pounding against the back of my knees. The vibrations from the bass guitar ran from my feet to the top of my head. It was exhilarating. The melodic sounds of the lead guitar pierced my heart in such a way that I knew performing was exactly what I was supposed to be doing. That’s where I found my happy place. Dr. Phil couldn’t compare to the therapeutic feeling I got from singing my heart out.

After that experience, I was hooked. I dove in head-first and tried to learn everything I could about the Blues genre. I learned as many songs as I could, then started my own band.

Fast forward 27 years later, I have raised a child to adulthood, traveled near and far ― Big stages, little stages, it didn’t matter as long as I was singing. I have made a career performing with my husband, legendary bluesman, Andrew Jr.Boy Jones.

Kerrie and Jr. Boy Jones

All of it doesn’t seem that long ago. It’s funny how when you are doing something you love, that happens. Music has nurtured me and saved me over and over again. The blues saved my life. I will have to tell you about it at another time.

I am a full-time musician, and I’m certain that’s what I’ll always be, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

I am ready to get back to doing what I love, as soon as the world gets healthy, and the pandemic is over.

In the meantime, we are hitting on hard times, as are many of our fellow musicians. But we made a promise to ourselves and make it to you that we WILL keep the Blues alive and well! Also, Jr. Boy and I have a brand new album out Jr. Boy & Kerrie’s Blues.

It can be ordered direct through our website at: https://jonesbluesband.com/

I want to share a bit of our music with you and if you feel so inclined, I’ve listed our Virtual Tip Jars below the videos and would be most grateful for any donations during this Pandemic that has put all of the musicians out of work.

cash app: www.cash.app/$JonesBlues
Venmo: www.venmo.com/Kerrie-Jones-11
Zelle: abjentertainment@yahoo.com
Paypal: http://www.paypal.me/jonesbluesband

You can follow Kerrie & Jr. Boy on FACEBOOK!

Andrew Jr. Boy’s FACEBOOK

Kerrie Lepai Jones’ FACEBOOK

A NOTE TO MY FOLLOWERS! PLEASE SHARE ON FACEBOOK AS THIS MUSIC ARTIST DOES NOT HAVE TWITTER! THANK YOU FOR YOUR AWESOME SUPPORT!

Looking Back – 2019 Music

As most of you know, I am a staff-writer for Buddy Magazine, The Original Texas Music Magazine. Because of that, I review lots of newly released music CDs throughout the year. This is a look back on some of the best of the best from Texas! The Albums are not listed in any particular order, so this is not a Top Ten list. It’s a recap of music that moved me!

An Indie artist that broke all the rules this year and came out on top was Cody Jinks!

He released an album on October 11 that premiered on the iTunes all-genre chart at #1. Then one week later, on October 18, he released a second album that did the same thing. The most impressive part of this is that, as an indie artist, he has no record label backing him and pouring tons of money into promo. He did it all on his own. So, it is my pleasure to honor these two albums.

“Each album has a theme,” Jinks said. “The Wanting is about the road life and going deeper into your art, while After The Fire is more about the home life, the settling and coming down period.”

Another album that touched me deeply was RIDE ME BACK HOME by the incomparable, Willie Nelson!

Part of this album’s appeal is that the title track, “Ride Me Back Home,” was written by a good friend of mine, Sonny Throckmorton. But, aside from that fact, it’s possibly one of Willie’s best!

Native Texan Bianca DeLeon writes about what she knows, her life growing up in the Texas-Mexico borderland. She’s lived through a lot, and it shows in her music. Her byline is “Texas Songwriter and Troubadour.” I absolutely loved reviewing her album, DANGEROUS ENDEAVOR. The first thing that struck me about this album is DeLeon’s voice. She’s gritty and gutsy with her delivery of the lyrics.

Pint-sized Jack Barksdale is making quite a name for himself in every music circle from the local DFW area to songwriter’s events across the United States. He’s twelve. Not only is he writing original material, but he also releases podcasts where he interviews other artists. Check out his YouTube page. He is one of the most amazing young artists I’ve ever seen! He released a new EP this year, Live From Niles City and it deserves to be on this list!

Here’s a YouTube video. You’ve gotta hear this kid!

Another incredibly diverse album that crossed my desk this year was FOG AND BLING By Shinyribs! It’s difficult to categorize this Austin-based band’s music. I’d say Shinyribs is an eclectic blend between New Orleans Jazz, R&B, Funk, Rock, and Psychedelic Country. It could aptly be called Swampadelic R&B.

Tom McElvain is known far and wide for his vocal prowess. But he is also fast rising to the top of the songwriting spectrum with songs like the ones found on his EP, DRIFTER. As he says, “This time it’s for the music, not the man.”  

On a side note, I am working with Tom McElvain on a book, “Lady In Red,” that will be released in May 2020! Believe me, I will be promoting it here on my blog!

Smile Into Life from Austin-based Blues-Funk Rocker, Hector Ward and his eight-piece Big Time band, is one of the most dynamic I heard all year.From start to finish, it’s solid with not one track that I wanted to skip. Ward is quoted as saying, “Listen to music…it will change your reality.”

I want to share a picture with you because, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Let me just say this man is inspiring. That is Hector Ward in the wheelchair. Listen to his music and see if you find one spec of self-pity. You won’t!

The Walk is singer/songwriter, Bonnie Bishop’s eighth album. Produced by Grammy-winner, Steve Jordan, the music connects listeners to the Texas vocal powerhouse in an intimate and personal way. I am a huge fan of her music and her honesty. She is an inspiration to women artists!

I love these two people, Andrew Jr. Boy Jones and Kerrie Lepai Jones! They are perfect ambassadors of the Dallas Blues scene and it was an honor to not only review their new CD, but to interview them for a feature in Buddy Magazine. You can read it here. Jr. Boy has been playing the blues for over five decades and no one does it better! Their new album, Jr. Boy & Kerrie’s Blues is nothing short of stellar! If you love the blues, give them a listen! Kerrie proves that a white girl CAN sing the blues!

I’ll close this post with a single off Cody Johnson’s 2019 Album, Ain’t Nothing To It. In my humble opinion this is the most sensual and sexy song I’ve heard since Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness.” Here’s Cody Johnson with “Nothin’ On.”

Maybe you are already familiar with some of this music but if you aren’t I do hope you’ll take a minute to discover something new! Thank you!

Jan’s TOP TEN Music CDs 2017

Jan's Top Ten NewMusic CDs for 2017

Most of you know that I am a staff writer for Buddy Magazine (The Original Texas Music Magazine). Part of my job is to review new music as it is released throughout the year. This list is the best of what I heard and is based on my opinion. I hope you’ll find something new that you haven’t heard before and that you’ll check it out.

#1

Willie_Boys_Album   Purchase Link

Just when you think Willie Nelson cannot do anything new under the sun, he does. I loved everything about this CD, from the cover to the liner notes, to the songs and production. But, what struck me the most about the project was the blending of voices and guitars that can only come from a family connection. Willie’s two sons, Lukas and Micah join him on this CD.

#2

Stars_Foster  PURCHASE LINK

This CD accompanies a compilation of short stories from Radney Foster, which made #1 on my Top Ten books for 2017. This entire project from start to finish a perfect example of what storytelling should be. I loved every song on this CD but one that stands out is “Belmont and Sixth,” about a homeless veteran.

#3

Close Ties  PURCHASE LINK

If aging has done anything for this timeless Americana troubadour, it has only enhanced his powerful songwriting prowess.  Close Ties, is beyond a doubt the most intimate as he weaves deep personal stories that expose vulnerabilities and regrets. It is quite possibly Rodney Crowell’s best work to date with wry, straight-as-an-arrow stories about his life.

#4

Lili Cover  PURCHASE LINK

There is no singular word that describes Lili Blessing’s voice…Pure, rich, subtle, smooth as silk, yet powerful and edgy are words that come close but fall short. She is like a young Norah Jones or Adele. Seamless transitions into falsetto and powerful dynamic delivery set this Indie Alternative artist apart from anything I’ve heard.

#5

Carter Bill  PURCHASE LINK

I get excited when I discover a new artist that has been around for decades making original creative music. Such is the case with Bill Carter. He writes the kind of songs other artists turn to for inspiration and their own material. For over three decades, Carter has been turning out songs that legends of rock, blues, and country have recorded. On this self-titled album, Carter’s unique style and skillful musicianship is the mark of a man who has spent a lifetime honing his craft.  Carter plays all the instruments, sings the songs and he also produced the album. Wow!! 

#6

kerrielepai1 (1)  PURCHASE LINK

Whoever said white girls couldn’t sing the blues have never heard Kerrie Lepai. With her powerhouse voice and undeniable range, she is a force to reckoned with. While Kerrie Lepai may be a new name to you, it’s one you won’t soon forget. If you love the blues and all that it embodies, along with the smoking hot guitar of Andrew Jr. Boy Jones, this album is for you.

#7

Steve_Krase  PURCHASE LINK

Houston-based blues harmonica ace, Steve Krase released his fourth album, Should’ve Seen It Coming, for Connor Ray Music. Most of this album was recorded live over two nights, at the Red Shack in Houston. The spotlight tune of the album is unequivocally “Repo Man,” written by brother David. It allows everyone to show off musically and vocally. “I won’t knock on your door/I won’t bang your wife/But I’ll take your car in the middle of the night/Cuz I’m a repo man…” The lyrics are catchy and humorous, but the arrangement is seriously incredible.

#8

Medullacover  PURCHASE LINK

This album is different in many ways, but mostly in the unique interpretation of lyrics and melodies done only the way Jerrod Medulla can. It is is fresh, sexy, sultry and diverse. It is hard to classify Jerrod’s music. It is a mix between Americana, Rock and Blues with a little Jazz thrown in.

#9

Keepsake  PURCHASE LINK

Nothing describes Mike Blakely’s vocal and songwriting style better than straightforward and genuine. Listening to his new CD, Keepsake, is like going on an easy rambling trail ride. Mike’s “no frills” music touches something deep inside. If you enjoy listening to lyrics that have meaning, tell a story or carry a message while the melody flows like a cool mountain stream, you will enjoy Keepsake.

#10

Baker_Land  PURCHASE LINK

What you’ll hear on Land of Doubt is stunning beautifully arranged strains of chords and melodies with lyrics deeper than the roots of an old oak tree. Baker is well-known for surviving a violent terrorist attack in Peru in 1986. He suffered some hearing loss in the explosion but has defeated all obstacles to emerge as a respected songwriter and performer. Land of Doubt opens with simplistic yet complex guitar chords from Will Kimbrough on “Summer Wind.” I am immediately reminded of Willie Nelson’s style of intermingling guitar licks with meaningful lyrics.

I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting new artists, perhaps finding new music that touches you or simply been entertained. Thank you for taking a look at a big part of what I do in life. 

 

Blues That Make You Feel SO good!

Andrew Jr. Boy Jones is a blues artist who’s been around a long time. He started his career playing in Freddie King’s backing band, the Thunderbirds when he was 16. I recently interviewed him for the Original Texas Music Magazine, Buddy and fell in love with this humble man. He told me during the interview that “he didn’t choose the blues, the blues chose him.” And, lucky for us they did.

And to put the icing on the cake, his wife, Kerrie Lepai Jones, is the most amazing white woman blues singer on the planet!  Don’t believe me? Click HERE and see for yourself!

She put together a YouTube video that showcases “Jr. Boy” and his lengthy career. Click HERE to watch. Nobody plays blues rifts like him. He has his own unique style that he developed over the years and it sets him apart from any other blues picker around.

There is a point to this blog. Last night, in Austin, Texas, at the historic Antone’s nightclub, Andrew Jr. Boy  and Kerrie did a show. Now, I’ve lived in Texas a long time and even lived in Austin for many years, but last night was my first visit to Antone’s. Was I impressed with the club? No. BUT, the music I heard last night – the BLUES – was spectacular – made me feel oh so good!

I snapped a couple of pictures.

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I recorded a live FB video on my phone and even though the quality isn’t great, the “special” ingredient that Andrew Jr. Boy and Kerrie have shines! You can see them on my Facebook Page Here.

They both have brand new CDs. I know they’d be extremely appreciative if you’d head over to CDBaby and pick up a copy of both. I can give you a written guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

andrewjrboyjones1  CLICK HERE TO ORDER IT’S ME AGAIN

kerrielepai1  CLICK HERE TO ORDER ORGANIC BLUES

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