Winner of the "Best Self-Produced CD Award" at the 2017 Blues Foundation/International Blues Challenge.
Canadian singer/guitarist JW-Jones tours constantly, and is known for his high-energy show that keeps getting hotter!
“JW-Jones is a red hot young Canadian guitar slinger/singer“, says Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge. Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, referred to this Maple Blues Award winner as“one of this country’s top blues guitar stars.” Billboard called JW part of “a new wave of young talent moving onto Canada’s blues stage.”
Jones has released seven albums, performed in nineteen countries and four continents, and averages over one hundred shows per year. Canadian-born Hollywood actor Dan Aykroyd, known for his Blues Brothers persona “Elwood Blues,” has called JW’s group an “amazing blues band.”
American magazine Blues Revue stated that “Jones’ style is a fluid amalgam of T-Bone Walker’s big, bright chords, Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s slashing leads, and Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown’s jazzy sting.”
JW was born in Ottawa, Ontario and started playing drums at 13, at that time into Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and classic rock. A few years later, after witnessing a B.B. King performance, he fell in love with the blues and decided to take up the guitar. Soon he was absorbing the influences of artists such as Albert King, Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Jimmie Vaughan, and later, West Coast guitarists Junior Watson and Little Charlie Baty.
In 1998 he won a “Battle of the Bands” contest, and the following year he won a “Best Guitar Riff-Off” competition and used the studio time prize to record his debut album, Defibrillatin. Jones was the first artist signed to Toronto-based label Northern Blues Music, which released the album in 2000, as well as his next five CDs.
JW’s “epiphany moment” came shortly after signing with Northern Blues: “I was in college for a computer course. The label was flying me across the country to play in showcases, and I had gigs every weekend. My focus was on the music and not school. I remember walking away from the college one day, and just like the movies… I looked back at the school, and said to myself, ‘I am never coming back here.’ It was the best decision I’ve ever made. After that, it was complete concentration on building my career.”
He started by garnering three consecutive Maple Blues Award nominations and being invited to perform onstage with The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, and Junior Watson. Jones’ second release, Bogart’s Bounce, included performances by singer/harp player Kim Wilson and pianist Gene Taylor of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.