Andrew "Junior Boy" Jones
Watch What You Say
Bullseye 9602

Regarding Andrew "Junior Boy" Jones’ debut, I Need Time, one reviewer said he wouldn’t call Jones a "singer" and then went on to praise the album on all counts! Not surprising. Jones rapidly gathers loyalists who are untroubled by the fact that he doesn’t sing so much as he lows, because they can relate to his witty material, dance to his insistent rhythms and appreciate his hot, snaky guitar work.

Watch What You Say is largely comprised of new material honed by innumerable performances on the road and in such Dallas blues strongholds as the Bone and Blue Cat Blues. His sidemen include Tommy Tucker and Tommy "Party" Hill, whose tough and in-the-pocket styles (on bass and drums respectively) are in good sync with Jones’ groove-intensive M.O.

Horns impel the kickoff cut, "Watch What You Say," which laments the hassle of gossip to a hot, slouching beat. Next up is "Party Man," a fave at Jones’ live shows for its chummy vibe and dance-friendly rhythm. It’s sans horns but none the worse for it. Ditto "Got to Win the Lottery," always a rouser in Texas because of the state’s large, scandal-ridden lottery but apt to be cheered anywhere the lucre is in short supply. The horns are back on board for the striding "Stinky Dink," one of three instrumentals that showcase Jones’ guitar work. "Shuffle On" is well-named, and like all the aforementioned, is penned by Jones. "Soul Serenade" is the King Curtis sax classic, done justice by Jones’ liquid, melodic guitar playing.

Conceivably the future holds a "deep" album by Jones that’ll offer more in the "Soul Serenade" vein he essays so exquisitely. But for now he’s a Party Man — and today’s blues scenario is all the richer for it.

— Tim Schuller

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Boulder, CO, USA.