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Dennis Jones Band at Zoo Bar
July 19, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
I was born and raised in the small town of Monkton, Maryland, population 4,856. My family didn’t have much money, but we always had what we needed. Monkton was a great place for a kid to grow up. The area is known for its horse farms, sprawling countryside, and old, stately homes set back from the country roads. It’s beautiful.
Some weekends, my family would go to my grandparents’ place, which was literally, over the river and through the woods. Pop-Pop kept an old acoustic guitar in the corner, and I’d get excited whenever he’d pick it up and strum on it. I can still picture Pop-Pop sipping on dandelion wine that he’d made a few years before, and sharing his amazing stories and adventures from his youth.
At age 13, I got my first guitar on Christmas day and started writing songs soon after. Thankfully, my mom and dad were very supportive of my music. After I finished all of my chores for the day, they would let me play and practice as long as I wanted. My parents were happy that music kept me of the streets and out of trouble. By age 16, I was in my first band, playing rock & roll covers at teen centers and “barn parties.”
High school graduation was a highlight because my parents helped me throw a huge party at our house. My band performed, and our entire graduating class showed up. We found kids sleeping in our yard the next morning. Suddenly my older brother and younger sister thought I was cool.
I had big dreams and I was eager to explore the world outside of Monkton, so I left my small town at age 18 to join the military. Stationed in Germany for a few years, I was exposed to a whole new culture. I played in bands and attended some of the greatest concerts in my life, from Rufus Thomas to Rory Gallagher. I also fell head over heels in love.
Then life took over. I first lived with my wife in Baltimore County, and a few years later, we moved to Los Angeles. As a mixed race couple, not everyone welcomed us, but we managed. I wrote songs and played music on weekends, and worked a day job. After almost a decade, our marriage ended, but fortunately we remain friends today.
Around the same time, I started digging deeper into “the Blues.” I realized that the main influences of all my favorite bands had come from the blues. So I started a journey to discover the music that my people created through the pain and suffering of slavery, and then later abandoned, for the most part.
I continued to work for many years as an elevator technician, and toured part-time with my band, often traveling great distances. When I got laid off from my job, it provided the perfect opportunity to pursue what I had always known I was meant to do – MUSIC!
I’m so grateful to be a full-time, touring musician, and student for life. I never take it for granted. It’s not an easy life, but it sure is gratifying to connect with thousands of people a year through my songs and a shared passion for music. I’m proud to have released 5 original blues rock CDs to date, all with great reviews. I love what I do, and I wouldn’t trade one minute of it.