April 9, 2019 at 3:52 pm #130669
Jontavious Willis’s new album, Spectacular Class (link to LP, CD or MP3 copies) came out last Friday. The album was produced by Keb’ Mo’, he plays guitar on it and it’s on his label. Some of the other people on it are listed with the outtake below.
Here’s an outtake from the album, a way-inspired cover of Sunnyland Slim’s “Johnson Machine Gun,” with Jon Atkinson (guitar), Carl Sonny Leyland (piano!), Danny Michel (bass), Devin Neel (drums).
Friday was the same day I was hearing his amazing solo performance at St. Ann’s Church as a part of the 11th annual Brooklyn Folk Festival. If those festival videos ever become public, I’ll post “Move To the Outskirts of Town” here (and more, but that song was the little miracle I experienced). Louis Jordan was the first to record it, Ray Charles and B.B. King both made memorable versions, among others, but Jontavious’s was the centerpiece of his set, it was so dynamically perfect, I’m sure it’s going to linger as one of the most incredible things I’ve ever heard, just his voice and acoustic guitar.
Here’s a recent live instrumental that isn’t on the album, followed by the title song, “Take Me to the Country.”
Click here for upcoming tour dates . He’ll be back in New York on June 1 for the New York Guitar Festival’s Tribute to Memphis Minnie. I know that’s going to be great.
Here’s my playlist of his music (after the first four official videos, the list is roughly chronological up to almost the very end; there’s a private video a few videos away from the end that’s being used as a divider with “spare” videos after). Check the description area for related links.
April 9, 2019 at 5:59 pm #130674
Great stuff, I’ll have to save this until I have time to enjoy the music. Cheers Don.
April 9, 2019 at 6:19 pm #130675
You know what? I just noticed the video I said was a “recent instrumental that isn’t on the album, followed by the title song, ‘Take Me to the Country’,” isn’t the video I thought it was. I’ve been listening to the last ones on the playlist and “Take Me to the Country” is on there somewhere, but hmmm, not the one I said. I’m not sure what the title of the song that follows “Hot Dog” is.
April 9, 2019 at 6:29 pm #130676
Thanks for sharing, Don. Jontavious is the real deal: great singing, playing and feel for the blues. I’m looking forward to listening to this over the next few days.
April 9, 2019 at 6:39 pm #130678
Hey Rick, Billy too, thank you for commenting.
I’ll post the right video of the title song when I find it.
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