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Interviews

Billy Jones: The Urbanization of Delta Blues

By Published: April 30, 2009

AAJ: Do you feel that these urban images as it is depicted in hip-hop more closely reflect the Black condition as it exists today?

BJ: Yes. Black people have worked hard to escape that lifestyle and better their condition. The other images have nothing to do with this century.

AAJ: Do you feel that the urbanization of blues music is an effective way of reaching a younger market? To what market are you ultimately hoping to appeal?

BJ: Definitely, it's the only way to reach the younger market. I want my music to appeal to everyone. That's what seems to be happening. The stories that I tell on this CD are true and universal. People across all genres are embracing the music.

AAJ: For those who have not seen your live show, how would you describe what you do on stage? Can you give us an idea of the demographics of your audience?

BJ: There are so many things that go on during the show that you will just have to come and see for yourself. Or you can always see a sample of what I do by visiting www.blackplanet.com/billyjonesbluez

I try to make a personal connection with the audience and have a lot of fun and draw them into the performance. I want them to forget about their problems and escape into Billy's world for a little while.

Nobody sits down on my stage except the drummer and I'm thinking of having him stand-up and move around during the show. But I haven't figured out how to do it yet!

AAJ: In light of the prevailing social and economic conditions that exist today, do you still feel that music can be a "vehicle of change"?

BJ: I know that music can be a vehicle for change. Music is a gift from the creator who wrote the song of life. If you do it right, it gets you on a level that is primal. And the right story can change the world.

History is littered with songs that have changed the social consciousness of the world and made it a better place. I hope that the stories that I tell on this recording will do something to address the issues of the audience that it was written for.


Selected Discography

Billy Jones, my Hometown (Black and Tan, 2007)

Billy Jones, Tha' Blues (Black and Tan, 2005)

Billy Jones, Live - On the Road (Cyborg-Blue, 2002)

Billy Jones, Prime Suspect for the Blues (Cyborg-Blue,2001)

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Billy Jones



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