Monday, July 10, 2017

Stacy Jones ~~ Love Is Everywhere

I am fortunate that nearly every day there’s a delivery of some sort of music from all over the world. Most of the albums I receive will never see print – I only try to write about the best, or at least the most interesting, and many of them just don’t make the cut.
Still, I have some people who represent artists of a higher quality and I am always excited to open the packages with their names on the return address. One such person, who currently calls Memphis home, sent me a package with several great musicians’ albums in it.
I picked one at random that had a photo of a beautiful woman in artistic black and white. I wasn’t familiar with the artist – Stacy Jones – and quickly learned that she’s from the state of Washington. The album is called Love Is Everywhere, an intriguing title for a blues album, but as this person has never sent me a dud previously, I popped it into my CD player with great anticipation.
Jones plays multiple instruments and is joined by Jeff Menteer on electric guitar and backing vocals; Rick Bowen on drums and backing vocals; and Tom Jones on bass.  
A powerful blues song, Mojo Potion #61 & 49, opens the album. If you’re not familiar with 61 & 49, you have a little blues homework to do. Jones has a good voice with plenty of edge and she handles the first lead guitar, vocals, and harp with style. This is a great start and I think the album holds great promise.
The next number, Wait For Heaven, is a slower powerful number that she sings with a great deal of emotion. When you lose a friend too soon, sometime the only thing you can do is channel that loss into art, and that’s exactly what Jones has done with this song.
There’s a little swing kicking off Can’t Find Love. She sings the blues very well and this quick number is a great one to get an audience up and moving. Bowen gets a good workout on the drums and Jones does a good job on the guitar break. Speaking of swinging numbers, the one song on the album not written completely by Jones, Stomp Jump Boogie, follows. Written by Jones and Jeff Menteer, this is a fast-paced instrumental that features the great Lee Oskar on harp. Can’t go wrong with this one!
Can’t You Be Mine starts out acoustically before the song brings in all of the other instruments including Mike Marinig on sax and flute. Jones digs deep into her emotional state to pull out all of the stops on the song. It’s beautiful and delightful to listen to.
Next up is a rocking tune, I Fell In Love. Jones proves she’s got some rock chops as well as her blues pedigree. As she is a multi-instrumentalist, she shows that she can handle different styles and create some unique and pleasing sounds.
The title track, Love Is Everywhere, is next. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album. She’s got an early Bonnie Raitt vibe on the number; her voice is deep and rich and it’s obviously a song that touches her deeply. The song was written after the Orlando Tragedy and she has tapped into the nation’s grief. It’s a simple message, but a hard one for so many to accept. Stacy Jones, if you read this, you have created a beautiful song – one I hope more people will hear and heed!
How do you follow that? How about with a little boogie number, One Stop Light? This is a fun number and the lightness of the song picks the mood back up. Jones delivers a great harp break on top of having a good time with the lyrics. Marinig’s sax break is sweet. Sing it, girl…
Gotta Get Over You keeps that lighthearted mood going. These two songs make a great combination. They don’t have much in common lyrically, but musically they could be fraternal twins. Jones delivers on vocals, harp, and guitar.
She pulls out the acoustic guitar for Tough Girls Never Cry, the story of a strong woman finding her way in the world. The song has a country blues vibe and she works her way through this territory that she hasn’t explored on the album previously. I like this one a lot and I know I’ll have to find some of her previous albums to see if she sings more like this one on them.
Jones closes the album out with I’ll Be On My Way. She adds some dobro to the mix along with her great harp and turns in a swampy number that would be at home either on the front porch or a packed auditorium. The song rocks and her voice is sweet and somehow still manages to hold on to its edge. Great tune, and it makes it easy to hit that repeat button and start all over again.
I readily admit that I was not familiar with Stacy Jones prior to receiving a copy of Love Is Everywhere. I also guarantee that she will never be off my radar going forward. I love her playing and her voice. She’s a good songwriter, and she handles several different styles of blues without missing a beat.
If you think you might be interested in falling under her spell, be sure to check out her website at http://stacyjonesband.com/. Look over her previous work, and be sure to check out her touring plans. I don’t know that she gets out of the Pacific Northwest very often, but I hope that our paths will cross somewhere down the road just so I can tell her to her face how touched I was by the magic of this album. 

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