Winner of these national blues awards
1997 W.C. Handy Award - Best New Male Blues Artist
1996 Living Blues Magazine Critics Poll - Best New Blues Album - Contemporary
Jones, a multi-instrumentalist (guitar and harmonica) was a vital force in the Detroit music scene from 1971, when he moved there from Chicago, to 2000, when he moved to Decatur, Illinois. His voice is expressive and soulful and he has a versatile instrumental technique that can range from suave uptown blues to backstreet grit.
Born John Junior Jones on June 21, 1941 on a cotton plantation in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, his family soon moved to East St. Louis, Illinois, where he grew up listening to the records of Robert Johnson, T. Bone Walker and Sonny Boy Williamson.
It was the stirring sounds of gospel vocalists however, who inspired him the most. Jones heard O.V. Wright, Johnnie Taylor and The Spirit Of Memphis when he was only 6 years old and remembers the impact their music had on him. He moved to Chicago in his late teens where he spent the next 12 years as a guitarist with various gospel groups. About 17 years ago he adopted the name "Yard Dog" to gain more exposure as a blues musician.
Jones is a delightful entertainer with an engaging grin, a twinkle in his eye and some very funky dance steps. He sings with raw emotion, plays a mean harmonica and when he picks up his Gibson, watch out because he can play some gritty blues licks. Jones calls himself a blues/soul vocalist whose main objective is to put on a good show. His current Earwig release, "Ain't' Gonna Worry," features a deep, rootsy blues sound and his appearance at the 1997 Chicago Blues Festival has helped Jones gain the international recognition he deserves.
For Johnny's belated CD debut, Earwig producer Michael Frank brought him back to Chicago and assembled a top-notch backing unit of guitarist Johnny B. Moore, pianist Emery "Detroit Junior" Williams, bassist Bernard Reed, and drummer Kenny Smith. The harmonica is now Jones' main instrument, but he also takes the guitar lead on three tracks, where his unique arrangements and picking style shine.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Don't Leave Me Broken-hearted
2. Cry For Me Baby
3. Clouds In My Heart
4. I Need A Sugar Mama
5. Anything But Without You
6. Tribute To Bill Doggett
7. Your Used To Be
8. Love Storm
9. Ain't No Hoochie Coochie Man
10. Ain't Gonna Worry No More
11. You Can't Call The Blues
12. A Changed Feeling
13. Goin' Home