Canadian blues performer JW Jones gets personal

WHITE ROCK — Over 16 years and eight records, Ottawa-based blues singer/guitarist JW Jones has never been more honest with his audience than he is now.

On his eighth album, Belmont Boulevard, which was released by Blind Pig Records on Oct. 7, Jones said he’s “digging deep into some very serious, personal stories” from the past.

The 34-year-old musician is best known for his high-energy performances over his 16-year music career. And while no one would deny he’s a passionate artist, Jones said that his audience may have a few misconceptions about him.

From surviving a tumultuous childhood, evidenced by track “Cocaine Boy”, to the recent falling out of his marriage detailed on the song “Thank You”, Jones is holding nothing back on his latest cross-country tour.

“It’s taken me a really long time to feel comfortable about releasing a song like ‘Cocaine Boy,’ which is the last one on the CD,” Jones revealed to the Now from one of his Western Canadian tour stops.

“I mean, that’s a true story, that’s my childhood, and for whatever strange reason in the last couple years I’ve heard some things from people like, ‘Oh, this guy just came from money, that’s the only reason why this is happening.’ It’s like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe the things I’ve heard.’”

His perceived affluent upbringing is just one of the themes Jones explores on his latest album, sparking him to share a little insight on how he really grew up. Another heavy topic? The demise of his marriage on “Thank You”.

“That’s about my ex,” Jones confirmed. “Basically, if you listen to the lyrics, she found another guy and it basically gave us a reason to finally break up, to finally divorce. It wasn’t good, and the relationship wasn’t good. It’s one of those things where you’re in it and everyday, you’re like, ‘Jeez, this is not good but I can’t leave, I’m committed.’ You need something huge to make it finally end.

“Basically, I was on tour, she cheated on me, and it’s the best thing that could have happened. I wrote the lyrics, where some people may take it as tongue-in-cheek, but it’s not. It’s honest. It’s like, ‘Thank you for doing me wrong and letting this finally come to an end.’”

In addition to the album, which was released Oct. 7, Jones’ label Blind Pig released a music video of “Love Times Ten” on Tuesday, Oct. 14 on their YouTube channel, BlindPigRecords.

“After all these years, after so many records, it’s like, you know what? I’m comfortable with who I am and my career’s going alright, so it’s time to dig a little deeper and come up with some songs that are a little more personal,” Jones said.

JW Jones performs at Blue Frog Studios in support of Belmont Boulevard on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased by calling 604-542-3055 or visiting


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