This "5 and Dime" interview was conducted via a couple of e-mails I shared during April 2005 with Laurie Jones Band drummer Steve Peer.
Tell me about the Laurie Jones Band and your sound.
Laurie Jones is first and foremost a singer-songwriter; the band is the alternative to a solo performance. Whether solo or with the electric or acoustic band, Jones throws herself, fully and completely, emotionally and physically at the listener. The band sound ranges from essential 3 and 4 chord folk songs to more electric riffing and arranging commonly found in the works of King Crimson. Jones has recruited southern rock guitarist Neil Salisbury, blues bass man Walter Howland and marching band trained drummer Steve Peer as the nucleus of her band. There are often guest fiddle, cello, harmonica and vocalists at shows and in the studio.
Tell me about your current CD "Better Days." What's its musical direction? Where can we buy it?
The current CD, "Better Days," is a very playful CD. Jones remains achored in her committment to "message music," as her lyrics remain paramount, however she does not take the music quite as seriously. She successfully references the genres of 80's new wave, brit prog, techno, power pop, ska, and Maritime kitchen party dance music. "Better Days" is available at www.cdbaby.com.
Tell me about your band's touring plans for 2005.
The current tour has just concluded with two hometown shows in Maine. Laurie supported James McMurtry and The Heartless Bastards on a leg of their tour through New England. The full band joined Jones at an impromtu show that was scheduled for all the folks who could not get tickets for the "Sold Out" Jones and McMurtry concerts.
The "coffee house" and "house concert" tour started at the very beginning of 2005. There was no publicity or hype as Laurie played all newly composed and emerging material. Songs were often repeated at these intimate shows, as she added verses and played them in different styles all while noting audience reaction to the material.
We're lining up summer shows now and you'll find all the details at www.lauriejones.org.
What does your band have in store for your fans in the next 12 months?
There will always be songwriting. Laurie, Walter and Steve are scheduled to go to Cape Breton Island to record the new material and revisit a few songs from "After The Crash" with fiddler Colin Grant (also appeared on "Better Days" CD), and his bodran drumming girlfriend. It is anticipated that there will be other musical guest appearances by members of the Rankin family, Gordie Sampson and Joel Plaskett. This is scheduled for May 2005, with a proposed release date of October 2005.
Feel free to promote anything else you'd like that applies to your band.
The website, www.lauriejone.org, is always fun and worth crawling about. The website has free music, photos and a detailed band journal. Anyone who wants to get into the music business needs to read this journal. You will beg for your day job and return to college. We don't romanticize or candy-coat the shittiness of this line of work, and the reading makes for a good laugh.
Please share your thoughts on Dimebag Darrell.
At first I was just sick that a gun got into the hands of another f _ _ _ ing loser. That's one more for man's inhumanity to man, thank you very much! Here's a guy who put himself WAY out there. He lived in harm's way on a daily basis just to entertain and amuse us. Dimebag provided an escape and an antidote to stress and reality to anyone willing to take the leap into his rock'n'roll alchemy, and this is how some moron gives thanks.
On a more positive note let us not forget that he was a studied and soulful player who at times appeared trapped in a genre and self-made place of expiation and remorse, however this was the charm that kept us all coming back for more. I wonder what sonic soup could have been cooked up if Dimebag were to spend a week with Robert Fripp, or Outcast or John Cale? What if he had changed his name and had become the Clark Kent of studio musicians, mysteriously showing up on recordings everywhere? We are all left with lots of "what if's."
Dimebag was born to be a road warrior, staking his claim on stages around the world. I like to think he died doing what he loved doing. He was a great teacher with many students, a messiah with many disciples, and his lessons and teachings can be heard in all that rocks!