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MP3 JP Jones - Back to Jerusalem

Created with a pallette that includes both acoustic and midi instruments, Back to Jerusalem is a diverse and stunning close-to-pop collection that was named "one of the ten best folk releases of 2000" by Hugh Blumenfeld (https://www.tradebit.com)

12 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, ROCK: Folk Rock

For JP Jones the true lover is an incendiary radical and the faithful artist is a prophet standing against whoever or whatever enslaves the human spirit. Like Leonard Cohen''s "The Future," "Back to Jerusalem" has an epic sweep both musically and lyrically, shot through with a satirical wit and unexpected tenderness. And though the poet''s voice sometimes cracks, sometimes wavers, his vision never does. --Hugh Blumenfeld

Back to Jerusalem is a diverse and stunning 11 song pop/folk/rock collection, Back to Jerusalem blends subtle eastern, mid-eastern, reggae and classical influences in a mainstream and powerful setting. It''s fun, too, and the focus throughout is kept on the songs.

As with the earlier records, Back to Jerusalem is a secular disc with a spiritual goal. Sculpting his creations in allegory and metaphor, Jones infers the universal from the episodic and autobiographical. There''s a sense of humour here, too, exhibited in songs like the country-blues tinged Works for Me and the charmingly sweet children''s song, As If, but perhaps the most emotionally powerful pieces are the direct and naked statements found in songs like Red Hot Blue and In My own Sweet Time.

Guest musicians include Signature Sounds recording artist Maria Sangiolo, Folks Together violinist Vinnie Pasternak, and Swami Shivananda Sarasvati, who contributes vocal effects and percussion tracks on Under that Baoboab Tree. Barb Schloff Arrieta and Adele Tarkowski offer accompanying vocal tracks, and Mike Barrett provides electric guitar work on a number of songs. Lloyd Salisbury plays electric and nylon string guitar and trumpet; Tom Ratelle plays tenor and baritone sax, Ed LaPerle and Kurt Meyer play fretted and fretless bass respectively, and LeRoy White plays hand drum. Steve Tavares plays numerous percussion instruments. JP played, sang, or programmed all other sounds on the album. Working with the PARIS digital audio workstation and a budget of less than $1000, he also produced, arranged, engineered and mixed these recordings at his home studio in Newport, RI.


Ken Stroebel, The Norwich Bulletin

New album has roots in Voluntown

Singer/songwriter JP Jones has always been Dylanesque, from his provocative lyrics to his warm, rough-hewn voice and offbeat inflections. The Dylan influence is particularly overt on Jones'' latest, "Back to Jerusalem," a gorgeously produced(by Jones), richly orchestrate4d CD that calls to mind the former Mr. Zimmerman''s "Christian phase" classics "Slow Train Running"[sic] and "Infidels."
Not that Jones-- a former Voluntown resident now based in Newport, RI-- is any sort of Dylan tribute act. He''s aremarkably gifted artist in his own right whose ambitious folk-pop tunes manage to explore a wide range of themese and incorporate an equally diverse array of musical styles. This is a record full of surprising flourishes, tinkling pianos and weepy violins where you don''t expect them, gospel-flavored background vocals, electric guitar licks and horn ruiffs that pop in and out of nowhere. Through it all though, there is that Dylanesque air, starting with the album''s title track, whose galloping rhythm and dramatic chorus build-up call to mind another Dylan, Jakob, and his Wallflower''s hit "One Headlight."

Artist''s Perspective
On "Already Been Thru It," a south of the border flavored number with a little Tijuana brass section, Jones speaks eloquently from the perspective of an artist who''s learned to seek and find satisfaction in creative achievement rather than commercial success. Jones'' lyrics here are often wise, but never smug. He has the perspective of a mature poet, but hasn''t lost the playfulness or occasional bitterness of a young one, as on the biting ballad, "Getting Your Way," in which he sarcastically wishes an ex-girlfriend well:

"Your heart is a desert
you whore with your head
you couldn''t make love
with a saint in your bed
you''re three-quarters dead
but don''t let it get in the way
Good luck with the wedding
I''m glad that you''re getting your way"

"Aint That Love" with its moody Mark Knopfler-like guitar-riff, sounds like it could be a lost track from "Infidels," while "Works for Me" recalls Dylan''s "Man of Peace" and Clapton''s "Lay Down Sally."

Jones gets down to his folk roots on "As If," a straight acoustic number showcasing some pretty string plucking, and closes strong with the thoughtful mid-tempo pop number, "Fancy Guy."

A child of the 60''s, Jones released his first album in 1973. "Back to Jerusalem" is his sixth release since founding his own record label, Vision Company, in 1991.


Ronnie Lankford Jr., All Music Guide

A couple of things will strike the listener when putting Back to Jerusalem in the CD player. First, this is a sonically rich, complex album, with layers of sound.
Next, this sound complements J.P. Jones'' rough-hewn vocals and sometimes bizarre, though penetrating, lyrics. Jones apparently built the sound of this album by adding and subtracting different musicians to MIDI tracks until
everything jelled. On the first track, "Back to Jerusalem," the listener is introduced to Jones'' somewhat wry, jaundiced point of view. The narrator''s trip back to the
holy city is wrought with danger - including possible crucifixion - and there''s no redemption in sight. These songs, and a number of others, are filled with religious
symbolism and the search for religious meaning. "Under That Baoboab Tree" carries the intriguing lines, "Just like Jesus chewin'' gum/Beating on his favorite drum/I''ll be ready when the callin'' comes to me." Jones clearly believes that god - whoever or whatever he or she is - has a sense of humor.

Other pieces like "Already Been Thru It" and "Fancy Guy" manage to sing about how to live simply without a trace of pretension. It should be noted that the songs on Back to Jerusalem also have memorable melodies and good choruses.


Only that Jones isn''t quite up to date when he turns his lyrical pen toward women. "Getting Your Way" has the lovely lines, "Your heart is a desert/You whore with your
head/You couldn''t make love/With a saint in your bed." Like Bob Dylan, no matter how one dresses up a lyric, a putdown song is still a putdown. This aside, Back to Jerusalem is good album full of songs with something to say, and will be appreciated by lovers of contemporary folk music.

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