Dennis Jones review…February 11, 2016…

DENNIS JONES

BOTH SIDES OF THE TRACK

BLUE ROCK RECORDS

ENJOY THE RIDE–IT ALL DEPENDS–BETTER THAN HIM–NOBODY’S SLAVE–MR. RIGHT–THE MACHINE–NUMBER TWO–SKIN AND BONE–WHEN YOU’RE NOT AROUND–WHAT–SHINES ON YOU–I CAN’T STOP–LONELY JOINT

We’ve been fans of Dennis Jones since his days of playing with Zac Harmon, when they won the 2004 IBC’s.  He’s a first-rate guitarist and vocalist with a raw, cutting-edge, take-no-prisoners sound, and, he’s not afraid to tackle tough societal topics in his writing.

That’s the basis for his fifth album, “Both Sides Of The Track.”  It’s thirteen cuts that mix hard-rocking blues with touches of funk, soul, and R & B guaranteed to please.  Joining Dennis on this set are the rock-solid rhythm section of Dale Black on bass and Raymond Johnson on drums.

Dennis and his hi-octane guitar get their collective swagger on as he tells a potential lover that “you wanted a tree, but you got a limb,” and “I can love you Better Than Him.”  Another lover is “my favorite drug,” and “I Can’t Stop making love to you!”

Dennis also adds a couple of clever twists on this record in the form of two sweet acoustic numbers.  First up is the fun rhyme pattern of “What,” with harp from Jimmy “Z” Zavala, which gives this one a good ole Sonny and Brownie feel.  Then there’s the set-closer.  It’s written from the perspective of a “Lonely Joint,” a rolled spliff that falls out of Dennis’ pocket, and whose sole purpose is “dying to get you high!”

Dennis has been based in Los Angeles for some time now, and several of his songs are quite topical, containing powerful, socially-charged lyrics, and these served as our favorites.  Check out “Skin And Bone,” which begs the question, “do you see race or just see a face?”  You can feel the snarl in Dennis’ guitar lines as he encourages those who are in abusive or dead-end relationships to strike back, because “you’re Nobody’s Slave.”  And, a true crowd-pleaser at his live shows is aimed at “The Machine,’ as Dennis unloads a clip point-blank into Big Brother and the government as a whole, which seemingly is only interested in our money.

Dennis Jones starts off “Both Sides Of The Track” with sound advice for us all—“life is short–Enjoy The Ride” and we’d like to say “Thanks, DJ, for a fine set of blues!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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