Track Listing
1 - I'm A Loner
2 - How Blue Can You Get?
3 - Searchin' For A Home
4 - Overall Junction
5 - Boogie Child
6 - The Sky Is Cryin'
7 -Stranded/Sweet Home Chicago medley
8 - A New Old Fashioned Love

L.A. Jones - vocals, guitar
Vincenzo Barattin - drums
Gigi Todesca - bass

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Boogie Child

I Am A Loner - Live

New Old Fashioned Love

The Sky Is Cryin

Reviews

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L. A. Jones & The Blues Messengers will be popular on the hi-fi sets of blues guitar lovers. Jones, a lefty who plays left- and right-handed guitars with equal facility, resides in Southern California. Live at The Pink Panther (Barking Blues 07) teams him with an Italian rhythm section for a smokin' in-person performance document. Jones' technique lets him call up B.B. King "How Blue Can You Get?") and John Lee Hooker (Searchin' For a Home"), with hints of Buddy Guy and others; his blues-approved flipped-over grip makes re-creating the stylistic nuances of Albert King and Otis Rush sound like a snap. His tone is indomitable, and if there are moments of over-playing, Jones' dynamics help us forgive him. The singing is not a distraction, and if you're primarily a guitar fan, this will be a feast. Best, it's all blues, no rock.

Tom Hyslop - Blues Revue Dec/Jan 2002

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I have to admit, the proliferation of three-piece "blues" bands in this age of self-produced CD accessibility has made the weeding out process, on occasion, a burdensome task. There is nothing to weed out with L.A. Jones and his Blues Messengers.
If you are as mystified as am I of Otis and Albert's expansive vibrato technique (even the great Duke Robillard admits he can't "get a handle" on it), you'll more than appreciate the work of L.A. Jones.
Playing "upside down and backwards," Jones has assimilated the process to the Nth degree. He is relentless in his sense of dynamics, creating and designing his solos to take you right out to (and sometimes over), the edge.
Has there been some research on how this style is achieved? Dan Erlewine spent time at Albert's side and surmised that much of the openess of the King's vibrato sound stems from the fact that playing the guitar flipped over, you are pulling into your source of strength when you bend a note [or notes] where as on a guitar held conventionally you are pushing away from your center of strength.
Jones' technique embodies both of those great players as well as a laudable rendering of a number of other modern stylists, including pre-1970 B.B. and Buddy Guy's more manic period.
Where is the Pink Panther, you ask? In Italy, of course, and the Blues Messengers reception on this CD goes to illustrate the international language of the blues, and no contemporary player is more articulate at the lexicon than L.A. Jones.
Strongly recommended if you have a proclivity for the Chicago masters.

David Hussong, Vintage Guitar Magazine

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"I just finished listening to your newest release, "Live at the Pink Panther." What an
excellent album! The live recording really captured the magic and energy of a
live blues show. I am very pleased with the quality of the recording, the
songs, and the musicians. "

Smokehouse Brown, Burnt Dog Blues Lounge KCPR

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L.A. Jones & The Blues Messengers
Live At The Pink Panther

(JSE 21202)

Until I received this CD to review, the name L.A. Jones was just a name I recognized as a frequent contributer to the Internet mailing list, Blues-L (which if you are a blues fan and have a computer you should check out). Over the years, I have heard other posters on the list extol the virtues of Mr. Jones' musicianship, but I am ashamed to say that I never took the initiative to hear the music for myself until this CD arrived. What I have discovered is that L.A. Jones is a fantastic entertainer and masterful guitarist. Recorded live in Italy, Live At The Pink Panther documents a L.A. Jones performance backed by an Italian rhythm section comprised of Gigi Todesca on bass and Vicenzo Barattin on drums.

After a brief introduction, L.A. gets things started with his original "I Am A Loner", a solid shuffle that highlights Jones' traditional guitar work and the solid support provided by the rhythm section. L.A. dedicates the next song to his blues hero, B.B. King, and delivers a great version of the standard "How Blue Can You Get?" which features Jones immaculate phrasing on the guitar intermixed with some torrid runs where Jones unleashes wicked volleys of notes. "Searchin For A Home" carries a traditional Delta blues influence while Jones' guitar work on Albert King's "Overall Junction" shows that SRV was not the only one who could nail Albert's style to a tee. "Boogie Child" is as it's title suggests, a full tilt boogie in the style of the late John Lee Hooker that tells the tale of a young man intent on playing the blues, a tale that I am sure is based on Mr. Jones' personal life. The Albert King influence pops up again on "The Sky Is Crying" on which L.A. turns in a performance that holds the listener's interest despite the songs ten-minute length. A medley, which includes the over done "Sweet Home Chicago" drags out far too long at 10 minutes also but is redeemed by a great performance on "New Old Fashioned Love" a great slow blues penned by Jones to close the set.

Live At The Pink Panther is the work of a seasoned performer who knows how to entertain a crowd while delivering a great performance on a musical level as well. With a good mix of tunes, this disc will appeal to fans of traditional blues as well as the blues-rock crowd. Well worth checking out.

Barry Gober

August 2001 Southwest Blues


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Every generation has had some of them. For my parents, I suppose it would have been people like Clark Gable or Errol Flynn. In my generation it would have been Dion DiMucci, Joe Namath, or Bo Diddley. Though not always for easily identifiable reasons, some people are just plain cool.

California based blues guitarist L.A. Jones is one such person. He looks cool, he sings cool, and he plays cool music. But, Jones is not only cool, he is also extremely talented. He plays and sings with a confident swagger that is delightful to behold without being overbearing or arrogant. His confidence is well founded, as Jones is a multi-talented artist, who performs perhaps more different styles at a higher level of competence than does any other artist I have heard. Whether interpreting styles ranging from John Lee Hooker to B.B. King to Stevie Ray, Jones is about as good as it gets. Interestingly, he is left-handed, but plays both left and right-handed guitars with equal precision and intensity.

His latest CD "Live At The Pink Panther" is a splendid representation of the unique qualities of Jones and company. The CD contains a mixture of covers along with some very fine L.A. Jones originals. The sound quality is excellent, the supporting players top notch, and the energy level nearing meltdown. The CD includes delightfully good bass playing compliments of Gigi Todesca and the right on percussion of Vincenzo Barattin, but the spotlight rightfully shines brightly on L.A. Jones. The set opens with the Magic Sam type Chicago blues of "I Am A Loner", followed by an extended +14 minute interpretation of B.B.'s "How Blue Can You Get?" in which Jones demonstrates a level of talent which should have you hitting search engines in quest of any of his recordings you can find. He follows this powerhouse with the very John Lee like and most enjoyable "Searchin' For A Home". Chicago and Texas blues offerings and more John Lee type boogies follow, with the set ending with a slow blues monster "A New Old Fashioned Love". It matters not what the style or tempo, it is all good.

"Live At The Pink Panther" along with his earlier release "Live At The Dead Goat Saloon" will make a most welcome addition to any blues guitar fan's collection. These two, along with several others from L.A. Jones are available via his official web site at www.lajones.com.

Tom Branson - www.bluesrockers.ws

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"California's L.A. Jones & the Blues Messengers' new live CD "Live at the Pink Pather" marks the second live release in a row for this band, which is A-OK by me... I happen to prefer live recordings as long as they're well engineered. This CD has been too long in coming, as the band's previous CD, "Live at the Dead Goat Saloon" was released in 1998. But now that I have a copy in my posession I can say it was definitely worth the wait.
Recorded in Italy before an audience that comes off a bit too reserve, it seems as though L.A. Jones is pulling out all the stops in a gutsy effort to ignite the crowd. I'm not sure if he succeeded in that quest, but he did succeed in recording some most impressive and inspired guitar work. He's beefed up his guitar's tone a bit from the "Dead Goat Saloon" days, and at times pushs the limits of his equipment to the edge. Vocals as well are improved and stronger than before. Performing as a three piece band of guitar, bass and drums, the group is tight and well balanced. The audio quality of the recording is excellent.
One thing hasn't change though. L.A. obviously relishes dealing in extremes. As with the previous CD, he plays quite a varied range of styles. On one end of the scale the CD features finger pickin' blues in the song "Searchin' For A Home" and love ballad blues in "A New Old Fashioned Love". On the other end are songs like the very rambunctious "Stranded/Sweet Home Chicago" medley and a smokin' version of B.B. King's "How Blue Can You Get?" In between these extremes are some very true sounding Albert King licks in "Overall Junction" and "The Sky is Cryin'", and some JL Hooker styled endless boogie in "Boogie Child".
L.A. Jones wrote 4 of the 8 songs, and there's little or no drop-off as he moves from excellent covers to his own originals. However, I would have to pick "How Blue Can You Get?" as my favorite cut on the disc. L.A. is on the edge with this one, and in the opening leads you can hear him battling to keep his guitar under control. But you come to realize the fight was worth it when the payoff comes... a searing, 15 second note that cuts deep and draws blood. During the remaining 12 or so minutes of the song, L.A. delivers up a smorgasbord of guitar leads.
I guess you've figured out by now I'm giving this disc a hearty recommendation to any fan of blues guitar. While placing your order, if you don't have "Live at the Dead Goat Saloon", go ahead and pick that one up too."
Review Published Mar 8, 2001
Herm - Electric Blues

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L. A. Jones & The Blues Messengers

Live at the Pink Panther
Barking Blues Music

Recorded in Zoppe di San Vendemiano, Italy, L.A. Jones stretches his guitar with the support of bassist Gigi Todesca and drummer Vincenzo Barattin. It's the kind of blues guitar stretchin' out that everyone loves. Jones goes on and on, with the audience urging him forward. Riffing through the stratosphere, he unleashes a storm of electric guitar pyrotechnics; yet, his acrobatic gestures remain tasteful. Jones couples his solo tirades with down home country blues and several vocal interpretations. Part of the program comes from a century of tradition, while several originals carry the torch forward. Jones' vocal selections pale in comparison to his blazing guitar, but the audience seems to love the stories, nevertheless. The scene has been captured well, leaving a balance of club atmosphere and band jive for the listener to soak up. Jones also mesmerizes with his easy-to-love guitar swing. Drummer and bassist color each tune, as the leader keeps the burners on high. Readers will find this session appealing for the leader's passionate guitar work

--Jim Santella - Southland Blues Feb 2002
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This surprisingly good set was recorded in Italy with native drummer and bass player only, whose sympathetic but sparse accompaniment allows LAJ to prominently feature his impressive guitar playing.
A more than adequate vocalist, LAJ's real strength is his guitar work which is featured
on lengthy soli which are never too showy or over the top. Although track length averages 7:42 this does not unduly impair enjoyment due to the innovative skills of LAJ who has also written a number of the featured songs. Others come from B.B. King, Albert King, Elmore James and Robert Johnson while the exciting and singular 'Boogie Child' is in parts linked to JLH's plural version. LAJ adapts and extends others compositions to his own style on this CD which is well worth a listen. I will certainly watch out for his name in the future.

Paul Harris - Blues & Rythm, The Gospel Truth

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L.A. Jones's --- New CD "Live At The Pink Panther" is a Solid Groove.
With a stripped-down rhythm section backing him, L. A. glides through 8
greasy blues tunes-- with some silky touch and a cool hip-grind ! He flat
works out on--Albert King's "Overall Junction" and goes deep--on the
"Stranded/Sweet Home Chicago Medly". Oooooooh !
L.A. Jones lets his guitar do the talkin'. No slash and burn. It's just the
Real Fire burnin' within the Body & Soul of L.A. Jones. It's in Him, and it
has to come out. On "Live At The Pink Panther", He flat-out ---Boogies
Chillen! This is a Great Live CD!

DJ's listen up----if you don't have this CD. Get it!
It will get some heavy airplay on Blues Rocket !
It's a Solid Groove ! His Best.

Rockin' Ralph
Oldies Unlimited
Blues Rocket-KHDC 90.9 FM

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John Bates The Catalogue Man

The review


L.A. Jones & The Blues Messengers - “Live At The Pink Panther”
(Barking Blues Music BB07) Only Blues Music
www.lajones.com / www.onlybluesmusic.com
8 tracks, 62 mins 39 secs.
****
Left handed guitarist and singer L.A. Jones represents
the new Blues generation. This W.C. Handy Award nominee has been playing over 200 gigs every year for over two decades. Jones blends the styles of Texas and Chicago Blues and honed his skills with Eddie Kirkland, Pinetop Perkins, Otis Rush and Jesse ‘Wild Bill’ Austin. He has recorded some six recordings on the independent Barking Blues label. L.A. Jones and The Blues Messengers last CD was the 1998 release “Live At The Dead Goat Saloon” (BB07).

The self produced “Live At The Pink Panther” was recorded live
at The Pink Panther in Zoppe di San Vendemiano, Italy on 23rd January 2000. On this one L.A. Jones (guitar & vocals) uses an Italian sectionof Gigi Todesca (bass) and Vincenzo Barattin (drums). The tunes are amix of originals and some well selected covers.

As usual the show opens with a hard shuffle “I’m A Loner” and is
followed by the brilliant “How Blue Can You Get?”. Other songs are “Boogie Child”, “Searchin’ For A Home”, “The Sky Is Cryin” and a ten minute medley of “Stranded” and “Sweet Home Chicago”. The show is brought to a climax with the closing number “A New Old Fashioned Love”.

Jones plays one hell of a set full of hot greasy Blues tunes.
Early in 2002 L.A. Jones will be off again for his eleventh tour of
Europe. A DVD titled “Birthday Suit” has also been laid down and should see the light of day real soon.
John Bates.

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LA Jones Live At The Pink Panther

This release should be approached with caution, only lovers of great guitar played with passion need apply. In my buisness
you have to listen to a great many artists some of which in your own opinion should not have bothered but as I said in my opinion. This is not one of them. From the opening cut (one of LA's own) you know you are in guitar country with a tight ryhthm section of bass and drum's pounding in your ears as they scorch through "I Am A Loner", then easily slip into a fourteen minute opus
of how to play blues with a voice that complements his guitar work. Not a note is wasted as they spill out of your speakes in profusion. "Overall Junction", an Albert King classic, instead of being a cover LA makes this his own; one word for it TUFF. "Boogie Child" another Jones original has you pumping your
legs in a manner that they seem to have a mind of their own; another classic. "The Sky is Crying" is also given the Jones touch, no half baked copy but a thoughtful interpretation; well it is a club so standards have to be played.
"Sweet Home Chicago" is coupled with "Stranded", after that I needed a drink. This was recorded in Italy in front of a crowd who got their moneys worth, you will too if you buy this. Then look for Live at the Dead Goat Saloon, you won't be sorry.
Big Al Watts
Presenter of Big Al's Rhythm Round Up PBS FM 106.7 Australia

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April 2007

review by Michel Rochette
(translated from French)


L.A. Jones & The Messengers Blues Live At the Pink Panther

Label: self produced

As good a guitarist as a singer, his talent allows him to perform in several styles on a very high level. Though it monopolizes the style of BB King, John Lee Hooker or Stevie Ray Vaughan it is all excellent. Left-handed guitarist, he plays just as easily right handed, with as much of dexterity and precision. Having already a studio album in my possession (Birthday Suit) I knew what awaited me from him, excepting that sometimes the quality of a live recording can change and be wanting. Fortunately that is not the case here. This album is a beautiful demonstration of his multiple talents through “covers” and originals. Sound quality is excellent for a “live” recording and the musicians of the rhythm section are of a higher quality. Gigi Todesca is excellent with the bass guitar and Vincezo Barattin does not rest on the drums, but the high-speed motorboat is indisputably L.A. Jones.

The show opens with a song in the Chicago Blues style, titled “I Am A Loner” immediately followed by a long version of BB King's “How Blue Can You Get”, and when I say long… I speak 14 minutes of pleasure. One finds also a song in the style of JL Hooker, “Searching For A Home” and others with an excellent taste of Texas Blues boogie. The whole ends in one of the best slow fox trots blues ever to have vibrated my eardrums … “A New Old Fashioned Love ” than one would wish to go on forever.