Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Music » Critic's Choice

Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe



Despite his diminutive nickname, Andrew "Jr. Boy" Jones is a veteran blues bandleader who's put in time with some of the best, including Jimmy McCracklin, Freddie King, Johnnie Taylor, and Katie Webster. You'll notice that list has a strong southwestern bias, and so does the music on Jones's long-awaited solo debut, the brand-new I Need Time (Bullseye Blues): his string-bending leads, obviously derived from B.B. King's, have a mellifluous elegance that recalls Texas trailblazers like T-Bone Walker, and his knack for imbuing even the most raucous flag-wavers with melodic subtlety and emotional depth reflects a long-standing Lone Star roadhouse tradition. Jones can pattern both his leads and his riffs after horn lines, and at his best he structures his solos like a section player, fitting them comfortably within a song's harmonic structure rather than riding atop the melody and then exploding into extraneous pyrotechnics the way so many younger fret men do. At times his versatility borders on dilettantism--he needs a disciplined rhythm section and a well-thought-out set list to keep him focused. Even at his most desultory, though, he's got enough chops and passion to keep things cooking; and when he finds a groove that really inspires him, he can blow the lid off. Tuesday, 9 PM, B.L.U.E.S., 2519 N. Halsted; 773-528-1012. Thursday, 9:30 PM, Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash; 312-427-0333. DAVID WHITEIS

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by James Fraher.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →