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Nashville-born blues guitar man Johnny Jones makes his first full concert performance in the UK on Saturday March 4th at Jack Beards, Tooting SW17
Jones was born in 1936 and travelled to Memphis at the age of 13, witnessing his first live blues performance by Joe Hill Louis, before moving to Chicago in the early '50s.
There he was exposed to all the blues greats of the era, including
Muddy and Wolf, and he shared an apartment with harmonica player Walter McCollum.
Together they formed a small group, working regularly with Junior Wells and
Freddy King. Jones moved back to Nashville and became a studio guitarist.
His band the Imperial Seven, were formed in the early 60s and worked regularly at the renowned New Era club in Nashville. Jimi Hendrix regularly sat in on these sessions.
"Even then" Jones recalls, "he was out on his own".
Jones also played rhythm guitar, alongside Gatemouth Brown in the backing band for the Dallas television show The!!!!Beat (a kind of American 'Ready Steady Go!') which featured all the top R&B singers of the day.
In 1968 Jones cut a number of singles for Peachtree Records with his then band The King Casuals, and then worked for several years with the great soul-blues singer Bobby Bland.
In the 90s he returned to recording with a vengeance, his comeback album “I Was raised On the Blues” being nominated for a Handy Award. In 2002 he released 'Blues in The House' on Canadian label Northern Blues Music.
His only UK appearance to date was a cameo at the live “Beatles Blues” concert in London Docklands, when Johnny and a cohort of music veterans from Nashville staged a live version of the Indigo Records album of the same name.