Monday, September 13, 2010


Jones became infatuated with the bohemian image of Woody Guthrie and Jack Kerouac and grew his hair long. His mother had started calling him Wizzy after the Beano comic strip character "Wizzy the Wuz" because at the age of nine Raymond was a budding Musician. The nickname stuck throughout his school years and when he formed his first band "The Wranglers" in 1957 the name became permanent. Bert Jansch later said "I think he's the most underrated guitarist ever". In the early 1960s he went busking in Paris, France, and there mixed in an artistic circle that included Rod Stewart, Alex Campbell, Clive Palmer (Incredible String Band) and Ralph McTell. After a couple of years in Paris he married and returned to England to raise a family. In 1965 his only single was released: Bob Dylan's "Ballad of Hollis Brown". By this time the skiffle boom was over but one of the stars of that movement, Chas McDevitt, used Jones' guitar-playing on five albums in 1965 and 1966. Another musician on those sessions was the bluegrass banjo-player, Pete Stanley. In 1966 Jones and Stanley released an album Sixteen Tons of Bluegrass, but this partnership broke down in 1967, as Jones then turned solo.
Jones started to became a singer-songwriter. His first solo album was Wizz Jones in 1969. Up to 1988, ten solo albums followed and he played on Ralph McTell’s single "Take It Easy" in 1974. In a way Ralph was repaying Wizz for his help in getting McTell established on the scene, Steve Tilston was also guided by Wizz, through the easy stages of his career. Wizz was once described a having 'a right hand worthy of Broonzy', the Broonzy in question is of course Legendary Country Blues Guitarist Big Bill Broonzy. Jones is quite proud of his 'Musicians' Musician' status on the scene, always he couldn't be bothered with proper fame! Most of his recordings from this period are long out of print. A brief excursion as a member of the traditional folk band Lazy Farmer in 1975 produced an album that was reissued in 2006. Wizz has always maintained a high level of popularity in Germany, since the mid - 1970's, he stills tours mainland Europe every year. The early 1990s were a quiet period. He almost disappeared from public view. When in the mid-nineties he appeared on the Bert Jansch television documentary Acoustic Routes, there was renewed interest in his work. In 2001 he led John Renbourn and other members of Pentangle on the album Lucky The Man. In 2007 The Legendary Me and When I Leave Berlin were reissued on CD by the Sunbeam record label.

Around this time I was gigging with banjo player Clive Palmer at places such as Les Cousins in Greek Street, Soho. It was there that I met Roy Harper who had recently recorded his first album "Sophisticated Beggar" for producer Pierre Tubbs. Pierre had told Roy that he was looking for artists with original material to record for Liberty and United Artists records. Roy's retort had been "Pierre why don't you record some ORIGINAL PEOPLE like Wizz Jones and Clive Palmer?"

So that was how I got to make my first solo LP (Pierre went on to record Clive as part of Henry Bartlett's group "The Famous Jug Band").

I even persuaded one of my old busking friends Long John Baldry to write the sleeve notes.

It was also the first time I recorded the fine Alan Tunbridge song "A Common Or Garden Mystery" with Beverley Martyn and it was my plan to make that the title of the album. However I was over-ruled and persuaded to climb on to a diesel engine at Clapham Junction for the photo shoot for the LP sleeve!

Tracks :

1. "Teapot Blues"
2. "Shall I Wake You from Your Sleep?"
3. "A Common or Garden Mystery"
4. "I've Got a Woman with One Leg"
5. "Shukkin' Sugar Blues"
6. "Earl's Court Breakdown"
7. "Oh My Friend"
8. "Blues and Trouble"
9. "Can't Stop Thinkin' About It"
10. "Dazzling Stranger"
11. "At the Junction"
12. "American Land"
13. "I Wanna See the Manager"
14. "Corrine's Blues"
15. "Grapes of Life"
16. "Guitar Shuffle"


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