Billy Jones Bluez, a blues-funk band from North Little Rock, Ark., will perform this weekend at Resorts Casino. Jones has traveled the world entertaining audiences with the sounds of nu-blues, and his band visits Tunica several weekends out of the month.
Jones is lead guitar and vocals for the band, but three other members make up Billy Jones Bluez. They include Corey Bray on keyboards, Derrick “Do Dirty” Kendricks on bass and Rickey “Quicksand” Martin on drums. The path to the Billy Jones Bluez band began when Jones was only 14 years old. He started touring as a back-up guitarist for blues legends Little Johnnie Taylor, Vernon Garrett, Calvin Leavy and Larry Totsie Davis, who he calls his teachers and mentors.
He then moved on to touring as lead guitarist/vocalist on U.S. military installations with The Incredible Rock City Band in his early 20s and spent a few years in Northern California. His studio experience came as he recorded several albums for Black and Tan Records in Apeldoorn, Holland. Jones toured Europe for years before coming back to the U.S., and he began performing in Tunica in 2007.
Jones believes Tunica truly is the “Las Vegas of the South” and said he always has a good time with Tunica audiences. He has played at almost every Tunica casino.
“There are players and performers from all over the world who come to Tunica, and it has become a cultural crossroads where all types of people can have fun in a safe and pleasant atmosphere,” said Jones. “The staff and management of the venues are very professional and accommodating. We have been performing in Tunica for quite a while and have never had an unpleasant experience at any of the venues.”
His band likes to visit Tunica as often as possible, and he said it has become their second home.
“We have so many friends here that have opened up their stages and their hearts to us that we have come to feel like family,” he said.
When he’s not performing in Tunica, he enjoys relaxing at hotels pools and checking out their buffets.
“I like to sample the food at the various buffets and snack bars in different casinos,” said Jones. “Most of the restaurants here have world-class chefs and culinary experts, and there is always some wonderful new surprise to discover. They satisfy visitors from a wide variety of cultures.”
Look for Jones and his band Friday and Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. at Resorts Casino. You may be among the first to hear material from the band’s new album “I’m a Bluesman.” Billy Jones Bluez has their own YouTube channel, so there are plenty of ways to see their style before you visit Resorts. You can also find the band on Facebook and MySpace.
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