Josh McGee - Guitar/Lead Vocals
Aaron Johnston - Bass/Vocals
Wil Willoughby - Drums/Vocals
1. The Screamin' and Cryin' EP(EP): May 6, 2008
2. Sexy June(LP): November 17, 2009
June In November
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By Adam Lamar Sentinel Staff November 13, 2009 The Otis Jones Project releases debut album Any...By Adam Lamar
November 13, 2009
The Otis Jones Project releases debut album
Anytime a local artist puts out a new record, it’s a good thing. It means the local scene is growing because the people who care about it are forwarding it. Now when a local band puts out a really good record...well, that’s even better.
Local rock trio The Otis Jones Project has announced the release of their debut album, “Sexy June,” on Nov. 17, and all you fine local folk can get a first listen tonight at the Hotel Fredonia.
“Sexy June” is the highly anticipated full length release after a year-long teasing by 2008’s three-song E.P. “Screamin’ and Cryin.’”
“I think fans familiar with 'Screamin’ and Cryin’’ are going to be thoroughly satisfied, but they’re also going to discover that’s just one facet of what we do,” Said Josh McGee, the band’s guitarist and vocalist. “I think 'Sexy June’ is a much clearer representation of who we are and what we’re capable of.”
While many different sounds are represented on this red-white-and-black beauty, the band’s blues and soul influences play well with others as garage and experimental rock also in the mix.
The opening track, “Dirty,” is everything fans have come to expect from OJP. From lead singer/guitarist Josh McGee’s Hendrix-esque, slap-you-in-the-face sound to the solid backbeat laid down by drummer Wil Willoughby and bassist Jim Hogle.
As Dick Clark would say, it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.
A newer version of “Screamin’ and Cryin’s” title track sits number two. It was good last year. It’s great the second time around. The song was promoted over the summer through a sponsorship program led by ReverbNation and Microsoft Windows.
The energy is brought down to a mello vibe on “3 to 1.” Then just when you’ve almost caught your breath, McGee takes his guitar off his shoulder and wacks you in the face with it.
Listeners are transported to the band’s version of the Pacific Northwest circa 1992-ish through “I don’t know.”
“Can’t Stand It” brings us back to the blues (and the dancing). At the same time, McGee stomps on his pedal board until he conjures up a hazy cloud of the late ’60’s.
If you close your eyes at the beginning of track six, you can see Neil Young standing on the side of the stage cheering the boys on. Living somewhere between The Door’s and and Young’s “Freedom,” “The Fall” is an awesome addition to the band’s set list.
Mariachi’s beware, “Midnight” sends listeners south of the border for a taste of Otis Jones enchiladas. Is there a guitar or a machine gun in that case? You’ll have to listen to find out.
The album’s title track features that familiar OJP swagger full of blues and raw Texas rock.
The boys keep the crowd moving as the album winds down on “With It All The Time,” with just a hint of punk rock attitude.
Coming in for a strong finish with “Like This,” the Otis Jones project would be a welcome act at any summer festival.
And if all that wasn’t enough, purchasers of the record will find an Easter egg if they skip to track 13. If Tito fired the Tarantulas and started writing songs for an acoustic record with Glenn Danzig, that musical odd couple might produce something as cool as the hidden track on The Otis Jone Project’s “Sexy June."
Doors to the Banita Room at the hotel open at 8:30 p.m. and opening act Drag Strip Allstars kick off the show at 9 p.m. Admission is free and the bar will be fully stocked. So grab a drink or five (along with a copy of the new album) and enjoy the show.
For all the folks not in attendance tonight, “Sexy June” will be available for purchase Tuesday, Nov. 17, at Hasting’s in Nacogdoches, Longview and Tyler.
For more information, visit www.theotisjonesproject.com.
Adam Lamar’s e-mail address
The Otis Jones Project: Blues Saviors?
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By Mark Beneventi November 2009 Blues music isn’t dead in Dallas, though it may be on life suppo...By Mark Beneventi
Blues music isn’t dead in Dallas, though it may be on life support.
Places like Hole-In-The-Wall on
Harry Hines host insane talent that
most local residents don’t even know
exists here. Their open mike jams are
the stuff of legend. Problem is that
the joint only holds about 30 people
comfortably – not much of a “scene.”
Other small blues nights occur around
town (the newest is Tuesday nights
at Reno’s), but rarely draw enough to
bank. Enter The Otis Jones Project,
a funky mix of blues, rock and soul
with a flavor that just might pull in
some younger fans. Hailing from
Nacogdoches, the three-piece consists
of Josh McGee (vocals, guitar), Wil
Willoughby (drums) and Jim Hogle
(that funky bass). While their sound is filled with old
school nods to Hendrix, Black Crows and Led Zeppelin,
OJP has an earnest, funky vibe that holds attention, even
the ADD kind. “I don’t think that’s true,” McGee says of
young fans tuning out. “Almost everything in rock music
comes from the blues. It just takes on different forms.” OJP
knows those forms well.
Together only two years, they will
release a stunning full-length CD this
month. Sexy June houses ten tracks
that cover just about every corner of
blues-rock, from long ago to present
day, and it does so with flawless
writing, musicianship and recording
– a triple crown for the ears (and
soul). Highlights are impossible
to single out because every song
has something special to offer, but
check out “Screamin’ and Cryin’,”
“3 To 1,” “Can’t Stand It” and “Like
This” for a sampling. “We have a
lot of influences,” McGee explains.
“This record is just a ‘thank you’ to
them for the music.” The pleasure is
ours here in Texas. Like Blind Lemon
Jefferson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Stevie
Ray and Lance Lopez, we are lucky to have these cats in
our back yard. The CD, soon to be available on iTunes,
stands up song for song with just about any recording in
Texas history. Visit MySpace.com/theotisjonesproject to
hear what we’re talking about.
The Otis Jones Project - Sexy June
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by Phil Rainone December 2009 Stylistically similar to all of The Oits Jones Project’s influence...by Phil Rainone
Stylistically similar to all of The Oits Jones Project’s influences (Hendrix, SRV, and the coolest of the cool Southern), the band ambles down it’s own path, casually playing around with the edges of noisy blues, dissonant rock, chunky funk, and twisted country.
Literate lyrics and dramatic vocals, plus the band’s soulful sway on songs like “Dirty,” or “Like This,” are imaginative as well as poignant. Repeatedly shifting rhythmic and loudness gears, the songs are gutsy and tuneful.
The light/heavy sound of “I Don’t Know” is a melodic, folk-infected song, played a warm-rush haze, and at times, heavy on gang-vocals, and dirty guitar riffs. On the muddy flipside, the band indulges a fondness for early 70’s slop-rock (a good thing), riffing up a Stoogey storm of thick guitar drive, and a muscular rhythm section that swoops, glides. and dives whenever need be.
Taking a time out for a folk rock lullaby on “Can’t Stand it,” The Otis Jones Project organizes memorable melodies around the band’s dynamic god’s-of-thunder citations. They often whip off exciting vintage tributes to Hendrix, SRV, Sabbath, and others, all the while driving their own taut modern songs that get to the core of all the afore mentioned bands, and than some!
Texture, melody, shading, and all-out, balls-to-the-wall rocking are not a technique for The Otis Jones project, but a life-long ambition. Nor are they trendy, or fashionable. Instead, they possess the kind of musical gravity that makes you want to listen to Sexy June from start to finish.
Review: Otis Jones Project's debut just a sample of good things to come
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By KENDAL ROGERS The Daily Sentinel Thursday, May 08, 2008 "All cultures have it, that perfec...By KENDAL ROGERS
The Daily Sentinel
Thursday, May 08, 2008
"All cultures have it, that perfect, visceral, rapturous musical moment when the earth seems to stop moving and the soul soars. Hippies find it beating on a drum around a camp fire; church ladies prefer to sing songs of praise until the spirit moves them. There's really no wrong way to go about it (as long as it's legal).
Chances are, though, if you spend your formative years in Texas, you're going to stumble across it on a humid evening as some blues band's wah-inflected sound loops, double-helix style, through a giddy, sweaty horde that's turned Lone Star into a sacrament and considers Stevie Ray a saint.
The Otis Jones Project really, really wants to be that band.
Their three-song EP, "Screamin' and Cryin'," which was released Tuesday on Blast Records, is a tasty three-meat plate of Texas groove that shoots straight for the hips. This is good-vibe music, pure and simple; no self-conscious, lo-fi, post-punk gimmicks, just a fat foundation of bass and drums topped off with slick riffs.
The band throws a trump card right out of the gate with "Screamin' and Crying'," a Hendrix-tinged tune that lets each member of the trio show off his strengths (particularly guitarist/vocalist Josh McGee, who can play a blazing solo but knows when to rein it in, which is a knowledge of nuance that can be hard to come by). "With It All The Time" gives a quick nod to a more stripped-down, early-'60s sound before it smothers it in fuzz. The rhythm section steals the show on the closer, "Like This," a ready-made encore that exists solely to make girls dance. And there's nothing wrong with that.
The Otis Jones Project hasn't been around long, but its members have meshed together seamlessly. Drummer Wil Willoughby and McGee met when they were doing studio work for country/rock artist Rocky Tippit and decided they wanted to veer away from the country and move more toward the rock. The pair added Jim Hogle on bass and, a few short months later, they're signed, recorded and ready to roll.
The only complaint about this EP is its brevity, but it works as an appetizer. This is not music that was meant to be listened to through iPod earbuds; buy "Screamin' and Cryin'" to get a taste, and then try to catch a live show. Summer isn't far off, which means hot, sticky blues season is just around the corner."
Spirit of Jimi Hendrix channeled
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By Jean Dubiel, Guardian editor Friday, May 23, 2008 There's a three-piece band out of East Texa...By Jean Dubiel, Guardian editor
Friday, May 23, 2008
There's a three-piece band out of East Texas that call themselves The Otis Jones Project. They released a CD called "Screamin' and Cryin'" (Blast Records) May 6 and sent it to me for a review. I put it in my CD player and thought someone made a mistake -- this had to be a lost Jimi Hendrix track that someone dug up and mistakenly mixed down onto this CD.
But no, there was no mistake. What I heard was the voice of Josh McGee, who was not imitating Hendrix -- he happens to sound like that naturally.
McGee also plays a mean blues/rock guitar. The inflections and tones he creates on his fret board are creative and rich. The notes seem to drip with blues, but it's that rock edge that carries them into a listener's memory.
McGee met drummer Wil Wiloughby in 2007 when they were asked to help with a project for an independent record label. They became friends while working with country/rock artist Rocky Tippet in the studio and on tour. They decided to start their own band so they could play more rock, which is when bassist Jim Hogle was found and added to the line up.
McGee said the band's inspirations are many and varied, but the bottom line is that they want their audiences to enjoy the music and have a great show experience.
"We are doing this for people who just want to have a good time. Our music is a creative mixture of influences that range from the Jimi Hendrix Experience and James Brown to The Talking Heads and Stone Temple Pilots, said McGee.
"We love the kind of music that makes people move and really gets them jumping -- the kind of music where an artist's soul is on display and everybody in the room can dig it. That's what we strive to create for fans."
In the song "Like This," each musician shows off a little of their talent, of which they have plenty. It begins with controlled feedback, then adds layers of funky bass lines and glittery cymbal tapping before pouring on the electric rock/blues guitar groove.
Hogle, a veritable fountain of bass licks, adds more flavor to the song than a bottle of Texas barbecue sauce -- tasty!
As the drums pop and punctuate verses, McGee's rocked-out blues vocals begin crooning:
"I don't need no woman to be my friend/Just stick around, we'll be alright in the end."
A hat tip to some of the sounds of the 60s is manifested in the song "With It All the Time."
The guitar uses dreamy effects and combines them with a surfer beat. It's the psychedelic 60s meets Beach Blanket Bingo.
With Hogle's excellent bass riffs and Willoughby's solid timing, the song has a strong platform from which McGee launches his rock-powered blues missiles.
In the title track, "Screamin' and Cryin'," McGee's Hendrix-like vocals may be what draws the listener, but the genuine artistry of the song, from its construction to the delivery, is what make it stand apart.
There is no lag time in this song. It rocks straight through with short-lived dramatic pauses that add punch to the melody. McGee's wah effect on his guitar may encourage more Hendrix comparisons, but the music that results is not a copycat number.
This is an all-original song, well written and deftly played, and could be the first radio single for the band.
By the end of the CD, it becomes apparent that these rock/blues gentlemen are experts at their craft and deserve every bit of their newfound recognition and growing fan base.
You have two chances to see The Otis Jones Project perform in their hometown of Nacogdoches, Texas in June. They play the Stonefort St. Jude's benefit show June 7 and the East Texas Motorcycle Enthusiasts ninth annual Blues Fest June 28.
You can get complete show information and find out more about the band at www.myspace.com/theotisjonesproject.
The Otis Jones Project can play up to 3 one hour long sets a night, consisting of both originals and covers. Some cover songs include:
1. "Jumpin' Jack Flash"-Rolling Stones
2. "Wait Til Tomorrow"-The Jimi Hendrix Experience
3. "Catfish Blues"-Muddy Waters
4. "Not Fade Away/Who Do You Love?"-Various Artists
5."Psycho Killer"-Talking Heads
6. "Don't Let Me Down"-The Beatles
7. "Red House"-The Jimi Hendrix Experience
8. "Hear My Train uh-Comin"-The Jimi Hendrix Experience
9. "Whole Lotta Love"-Led Zeppelin
10. "Crossroads"-Eric Clapton/Cream
11. "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature"-The Guess Who
There are no upcoming dates at this time.