THE JONES
FAMILY BAND

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to the Jones Family Band

Three Generations
of the band

The first generation of Jones Family Band started in the 80s with Helen, my wife, and Janet, her younger sister. We used to sing in close harmony with one guitar, and we did many gigs at the Wayfarers, as I said, there was a lot happening in the 80’s!

The next generation was Jones and Company in the 90s. We recorded some music with our eldest children, Andrew and Laura but it wasn’t until Sam joined in the early noughties, that the Jones Family Band was complete. It was then that the Jones Family Band started touring and recording albums, including a fantastic Christmas album.

Three Generations
of the band

The first generation of Jones Family Band started in the 80s with Helen, my wife, and Janet, her younger sister. We used to sing in close harmony with one guitar, and we did many gigs at the Wayfarers, as I said, there was a lot happening in the 80’s!

The next generation was Jones and Company in the 90s. We recorded some music with our eldest children, Andrew and Laura but it wasn’t until Sam joined in the early noughties, that the Jones Family Band was complete. It was then that the Jones Family Band started touring and recording albums, including a fantastic Christmas album.

Jones & co

A “family” band established in the mid-seventies; members – Helen & Brian Jones and Helen’s sister Janet Macdonald.

Brian of course was already established in the Folk scene with a regular gig at the Black Horse in West Kirby, with Helen; always the support and Ian Proctor; the Roadie.

Janet was at the Jones’s fairly regularly and stayed on lots of occasions.  While Brian practiced Helen and Janet used to join in (as they knew most of the songs).  They started to harmonise and got quite tight.  Then, Brian thought it would be fun to do a “spot” at the Black Horse one Tuesday night. 

Needless to say Helen and Janet were terrified!!  It all went quite well and people asked when we would sing again – and so, Jones and Co were born.  Brian with his usual banter while he tuned his guitar – which took longer than some of the songs!!  Helen also gave birth to their eldest son, Andrew during the early years (no, not on stage!).

They weren’t traditional folk artists; more popular songs in the folk tradition.  One of the trademark songs was “Seven Little Girls” which was invariably a fun hit with the audience, but a little embarrassing for the girls with their Play School actions.  The group enjoyed travelling around the Wirral and further afield in a white Ford Transit van; although there was a hairy trip one night on the way home from one of their favourite venues in Wrexham – travelling at about 20mph through a soupy fog – well done Ian “Roadie” Proctor for getting us safely back to the Wirral.

During a regular gig at the Black Horse one night Brian could “hear” someone in the front row singing fabulous harmonies.  He jokingly said if you can play bass you can be in the band.  That’s when John Tucker went out and bought a bass guitar and learned to play in a week!  Jones and Co then had a fourth member.  John played guitar and bass, sang beautiful harmonies but also jotted down a few songs, which Jones and Co performed as part of their usual set.

It was a fab time for the foursome who pushed the boundaries with the songs they chose to perform in the folk clubs – Here Comes the Sun, Carrie-Anne, Afternoon Delight; to name but a few.

It was always fun and the audience always joined in, so it just felt like we were at home in the lounge room where it all started.

The group disbanded in early 1982, when Janet and John emigrated to Australia; where another of Brian’s singing partners Tim Glover now resided.

And now, on to the next Chapter……………………………………….

THEstart OF THE JONES FAMILY BAND

(EARLY NAUGHTIES)

I was asked to do gigs on my own and I started singing the songs from the 60s that I sang with my brother, like ‘Blowing in the Wind’, songs that people would remember, but also some obscure stuff as well. I started to understand the words and it all came back like it was brand new.

I was sitting in the studio here one day practicing for a gig. And the kids just came in to say hi and I was singing and they said, what are you singing? I told them all about it and they wanted to join. Next thing you know, they are singing the harmonies. Then we started to put it together and sang those songs that my Mum and Dad used to sing with me and all the songs I sang with my big brother.

It became a thing, the kids would come in and enjoy singing the old songs with me. I was preparing for a gig and asked if they wanted to come with me. That was the start of the Jones Family Band.

Andrew (son) is a multi-instrumentalist, very much like myself, and he’s a very, very talented young man and can just literally jam in with anything or anybody. On stage, he’s played guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, stompbox. He actually plays bass as well on stage. And he is also a very good drummer, but never did that on stage and also can sing harmonies just like his dad. And we always fight over the bass line because my dad was in the Welsh Guards male voice choir post-war and he was always in the bass line. This is why we love singing unaccompanied songs, the bass line is the most fun to do.

And then you have got Samantha (youngest daughter), who is the baby of the family. Sam wasn’t with us originally, but we said to her because she can, she’s a good singer and she can harmonize, we said you need to learn to play something. If you learn to play the bass you can be in the band. So she learned to play the bass and she learned to play guitar. Now she sings all the top harmonies. She’s natural at it as well, which is really fun.

Then there is my lovely wife Helen, who as I say is ‘in Sing’ with Me. We actually used to sing together when we were kids, when we were young, when we first married, and then we sang with Janet. Helen has a very strong melody voice and she is quite high which fits in really well with what we do.

Next, we have Laura, who everybody in the family calls Rainman because she remembers everything and she stands next to me to remind me to sing. Laura sings Harmony, but along with me, is also lead vocalist. And she’s got a fabulous voice. She’s the most reluctant performer I’ve ever known bit she loves to sing and can play the piano as well. You hear Laura’s voice properly when she sings with an audience in front of her. She has got a fabulous voice and a feeling for our work. She also does some talking to the audience as well, she’s very funny. She holds me together.

And then there’s me on the end, of course, I do what I do. Yeah. We make a very pleasant noise. We’ve got a nice following of people.

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