WHITE ROCK â€” 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 heâ€™s â€œdigging deep into some very serious, personal storiesâ€ 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 heâ€™s a passionate artist, Jones said that his audience may have a few misconceptions about him.
From surviving a tumultuous childhood, evidenced by track â€œCocaine Boyâ€, to the recent falling out of his marriage detailed on the song â€œThank Youâ€, Jones is holding nothing back on his latest cross-country tour.
â€œItâ€™s taken me a really long time to feel comfortable about releasing a song like â€˜Cocaine Boy,â€™ which is the last one on the CD,â€ Jones revealed to the Now from one of his Western Canadian tour stops.
â€œI mean, thatâ€™s a true story, thatâ€™s my childhood, and for whatever strange reason in the last couple years Iâ€™ve heard some things from people like, â€˜Oh, this guy just came from money, thatâ€™s the only reason why this is happening.’ Itâ€™s like, â€˜Wow, I canâ€™t believe the things Iâ€™ve heard.â€™â€
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 â€œThank Youâ€.
â€œThatâ€™s about my ex,â€ Jones confirmed. â€œBasically, 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 wasnâ€™t good, and the relationship wasnâ€™t good. Itâ€™s one of those things where youâ€™re in it and everyday, youâ€™re like, â€˜Jeez, this is not good but I canâ€™t leave, Iâ€™m committed.â€™ You need something huge to make it finally end.
â€œBasically, I was on tour, she cheated on me, and itâ€™s the best thing that could have happened. I wrote the lyrics, where some people may take it as tongue-in-cheek, but itâ€™s not. Itâ€™s honest. Itâ€™s like, â€˜Thank you for doing me wrong and letting this finally come to an end.â€™â€
In addition to the album, which was released Oct. 7, Jonesâ€™ label Blind Pig released a music video of â€œLove Times Tenâ€ on Tuesday, Oct. 14 on their YouTube channel, BlindPigRecords.
â€œAfter all these years, after so many records, itâ€™s like, you know what? Iâ€™m comfortable with who I am and my careerâ€™s going alright, so itâ€™s time to dig a little deeper and come up with some songs that are a little more personal,â€ 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 Bluefrogstudios.ca.