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Al Jones
Al Jones
Al Jones put out an obscure but nice British folk-rock record in 1969, Alun Ashworth-Jones, reissued with numerous bonus tracks by Mooncrest in 2001. Like much in that genre during that period, it was basically urgent acoustic singer/songwriter music with some slight rock and pop influences in the backing. Similarities to Donovan, the Incredible String Band, Roy Harper, Nick Drake, and such are evident, and although Jones wasn't as distinctive as any of those artists, he was accomplished and pleasant. While in Bristol, England, from 1966 to 1968, Jones became a notable player in the city's active folk and acoustic blues scene. He became part of an acoustic blues trio with harmonica player Elliott Jackson and Ian A. Anderson, later the editor of Britain's most prominent roots music magazine, Folk Roots. (This is not the same Ian Anderson as the one from Jethro Tull.) Jones' musical scope was rapidly broadening beyond blues to original folk-based songs, and he did time in London folk clubs at the end of the 1960s as a solo act, becoming friendly with John Renbourn. Jones was signed to the production company of Sandy Roberton (most noted as producer of Steeleye Span), and recorded his debut album in March 1969, with some backup by drums, violin, flute, steel guitar, and bass, although the sound remained very acoustic guitar-based. There was some live recording done in May 1969, and two songs done in April 1969 with a full electric band showed up on the compilation 49 Greek Street. Then there were five acoustic tracks recorded in 1971. No second album, however, appeared at the time, although all of these efforts were added to the 2001 Mooncrest reissue CD of Alun Ashworth-Jones as bonus tracks. In 1973 Jones recorded the Jonesville LP for Ian A. Anderson's small Village Thing label. He then stopped playing professionally until the 1990s, concentrating on his Ashworth Electronics business, which developed pickups for acoustic instruments. He began performing live again in the early 1990s and returned to recording again by the end of the decade, putting out the Swimming Pool album in 1998. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
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