BIO: Lew Jones- Portland Troubadour
In the rainy town of Portland, Oregon, lives a singing soul man and guitar slinger named Lew Jones. If you don't know Lew Jone's music yet, you should get to it. His guitar playing is, to put it mildly, phenomenal. His lyrics are filled with insight and descriptive images of magical realities and he sings, as one writer recently wrote, in "his velvety voice."
Lew began playing around Portland back in 1974 and has been playing live gigs every week ever since. His first acoustic group while in collage included Marv Ross who later went on to form Quarterflash. He has, as Lew puts it, "11 official releases out since 1978 and well over 20, 'unofficial' ones." Considered a writer's writer he has composed hundreds of songs and also knows so many "cover tunes," from classical guitar pieces to obscure folk ballads to contemporary rock songs, that it's awe-inspiring.
The last several years have found Lew busier than ever. He has gone on 5 extensive tours of Boarders books, throughout California, Oregon and Arizona to promote his catalogue of CDs. Currently he is playing as many as 20 gigs a month and regularly drives to shows hundreds of miles away. He has released two CDs in the last 12 months. One, Eternal December with Juliard trained pianist Babette Soll is a collection of classical pieces including works by Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart. The second is a collection of folk classics mixed with originals called American Folkie. out on Living Room Records 2001. Sublimation, out on MastanMusic , will be his 3rd CD release in little over a year! As if that's not enough, a book of collected poems that includes his poetry and other local poet, S.P. Clark, called A Hundred Poems For Poets is being released by Vantage Press out of New York. If your still not convinced he's a modern day renaissance man, a showing of his wonderful oil paintings at the Lake Oswego Art Festival received a blue ribbon award was very well received this summer. His paintings are featured in the packaging of his newest CD Sublimation.
The world of the Internet has been good to Lew, as he can boast eight #1 Folk and Blues hits in the U.S. and one #1 International hit, all through Mp3.com. He had over 38,000 discreet downloads for his songs and Mp3.com rewarded Lew by including two of his songs on a compilation album that also featured a song from Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones.
At a very young 51, Lew has vitality, wisdom, a lust for the arts and is so prolific a song writer that it is easy to see why so many people think of Lew Jones as a true blue modern day troubadour.
Sublimation: The New Album
Sublimation, is an album that came about because of the collaborative work of a group of independent musicians who have put their time, talent and resources behind showcasing Portland poet and folk-blues-rocker, Lew Jones. They are Jeremy Wilson (Pilot, Dharma Bums) produced, played guitar and sang on and is releasing the album on his new label MastanMusic, John Cluff (Producer/Engineer of Thrillbilly, Pacific Wonderland and many more) provided engineering, guitar strummin' and production too, Ezra Holbrook (Dr. Theopolis, Decembrists, and others) made the whole thing happen on drums, Aaron Masonek (Dr. Theopolis, American Girls) laid down "phat" bass guitar, Kara Stover sings, Steve Wilkenson (Gravel Pit, Mission 5) whistles, Davey Hall (Bella Fayes, Thrtillbilly) grooves bass, John Beyer (Mission 5, Gravel Pit) drums, Rob Scrivner (Chez Stadium) sings, Grant Cumstan (Gravel Pit) plays some lead tasty guitar riffs, Barbette Falk honks that sax, Lew's son Justin Jones plays some sweet piano, Russel Bohall (Lael Alderman and the Loved) puts "it" in the pocket on keys, and almost everyone sings here and there.
Sublimation, is a real departure for Lew. The album was produced over a two year period of time from the Track Shack, the studio of John Cluff and Jeremy Wilson, and features tight production and a more orchestrated sound than any of Lew's prior albums. Ezra Holbrook, who plays drums on the album, described the sound to be, "possibly the worlds first New Wave Blues album." The opening track, "I Was Born In Portland Town," even includes a rap that Lew wrote about being a Portland musician and he asked Jeremy to do the rapin'. It's enough to make make Debbie Harry proud. "Terwilliger Bridge," a remake of Lew's 70's Portland hit, comes back to life at full throttle it's almost as if the Smithereens themselves had also been resurrected. Songs like "River City Rendezvous," "I Will Go On," "Tell the World" and "I am a River Ascending," make sure that Lew's folkier side is represented too. All in all it's an album of diverse tracks that flow together like water to tell the story of a Portland shadow troubadour that sees beauty around every corner.
"I believe Lew to be a poet through and through. During the making of Sublimation it was Lew's songs that inspired everyone to come together and endorse and celebrate Lew and these magical tunes he writes. Everyone involved with the record just want people to hear Lew Jones' great songs." -- Jeremy Wilson (Producer.)
Mission Statement of Record Label MastanMusic:
MastanMusic is an artist owned and fully operating production and publishing company.
By establishing MastanMusic I can produce and retain rights of ownership of the work I do (i.e. the songs I write). MastanMusic better allows me to oversee this entirely complex, sometimes confusing world of making original music and other multimedia that is my passion. By creating MastanMusic I hope to facilitate opportunities to both collaborate with others and to make it easier for people to approach or reach me.
On a personal level, I have gotten to the point where I am tired of the protracted negotiation process associated with record deals and securing funds for recording projects. I have found that working within my own means, with people I like, is a much more rewarding experience on a creative level, which in turn, makes things less frustrating. Not so much stop and start just a lot of "go" when you can do it yourself.
Technology and how accessible it has become in the last five years is a good thing. I believe the times we are living in offer a type of freedom that could be revolutionary for artists that use recorders, cameras and other electronic gizmos to chronicle their self-expression. I am also excited that the potential to reach people with the help of the Internet is such a real thing. MastanMusic is meant to be a vehicle to explore these and whatever other realms there are of possibility. So, I embrace the moment.
MastanMusic is a brick and mortar production company. I look forward, not only to being able to do my own art, but also to being in a better place to continue the work I facilitate with and for others. It's been a long road, but the future is now and the time has come to bust out.
Jeremy Wilson (MastanMusic)