Lloyd Jones – Trouble Monkey

Trouble Monkey<br />
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The first lesson to learn from this CD is that looks can be deceiving. Jones’ picture on the cover looks like the guy next door, with a Strat across his shoulder. But the music inside is tough, but not in the shuffle style that seems to dominate blues bands these days. Jones sings like Delbert McClinton’s long-lost brother, plays guitar like Robert Cray unleashed, and his band cooks.

Jones has apparently been a fixture in the Pacific Northwest where a young Cray became an admirer. It’s not hard to see why. Check out the sharp, pinched guitar work on the opener, “Can’t Get You Out of My Mind,” or the extremely funky rhythm and lead work Jones serves up on the title cut. Jones is no one-trick pony either. Check out the classic soul of “I Broke My Baby’s Heart.” He offers vocals that would make Sam and Dave smile and guitar work Steve Cropper would be proud of.

My favorite cut is “Old Friends.” A nice, swinging blues with a great horn arrangement, killer organ work by Glenn Holstrom, nifty guitar soloing by Jones, topped off with vocals that are as gritty as a dirt road and smooth as melting butter.

There are plenty of killer cuts. “Don’t Call Me Today” features great vocals and some nice funky guitar work. Same for “Drop Down Mama.”

It’s truly astonishing because it was basically recorded live in the studio in just two days! Wow! This would definitely be a band to go see if they came to your town. And, this is definitely a CD to find. The address for Audioquest Music is PO Box 6040, San Clemente, California 92674. Don’t waste time. Get this great CD now.

This review originally appeared in VG‘s May ’96 issue.

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