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On the enigma that is The Lefty Jones Band

26 Oct 2008, 23:02

For some reason, I have long been under the assumption that if a band exists, it has a myspace page. Or a wikipedia entry. Or something.
Lefty Jones Band kicks that assumption to the curb. The only legitimate hit I get for them is a shitty website with no biographical information and horrible css.
It's obvious that they are very obscure...but still - writing about a band that, for all intents and purposes doesn't exist is really damn hard.
This is the closest I've ever been to contacting a label to inquire for information.
Review by Warren Truitt, Children's Librarian, New York Public Library:

Friday, January 05, 2007
***String Bean Jones***
Holy cow! How could I have missed this one?!? Every so often somebody will bring to my attention a CD that has been out for a while that they think should be heard, and sure enough, they were right on with this album. It was like coming across a stack of old 78s in a second hand store, full of music you've never heard before and won't hear anywhere else.
Jeff Harris, aka String Bean Jones, has released a reeediculous number of CDs with his Lefty Jones Band, all wonderful and all amazingly original. The music is sort of acoustic / electric / Neil Young & Crazy Horse / travelling through St. Louis via Vicksburg via Baton Rouge. Harris' first kids' album, String Bean Jones; Live From The Bathtub, continues the legacy of originality and eclecticism, with an emphasis on acoustic performances.
From the Mississippi blues of "Mudpie" to the tender "Babyman" to the rowdy "Peas Fell Hard", from the chugging piano of "Pickle Blues" to the sweet "Alone with the Lightning Bugs" to the silly "Stinky Ann", Harris' compositions and lo-fi production style ( did he really record it in a bathtub ?!? maybe! ) are instantly captivating, and thoroughly entertaining in a "wow - what the hell is this - i love it" kind of way.
Check out some of the clips from all 17 (17!) Lefty Jones releases over at CD Baby, go to iuniverse and browse through a few pages of Harris' "Smiley-Man Chronicles", then buy copies of all his music for yer kids, uncles, grandmothers, dogs, and various strangers. They'll thank you.
Posted by Warren Truitt at 11:03 AM
Reviews by International Radio Stations:  (about Tomato-Town CD and also various others I sent them):

Media name: Michael Criddle
Company name: OzRadio
Date: 2008-04-05 10:21:32
    Feedback: What a great sound you have, we have played several of your tracks to date and plan to schedule more in future programs. Keep up the good work and please keep us up to date with your progress Regards Michael Criddle OzRadio (President Radio Triple H-FM) ozradio@ozisp.com.au
Media name: Menachem Vinegrad
Company name: Jacob\'s Ladder Festival
Date: 2008-02-29 12:39:56
    Feedback: Excellent- superb- unusual- a lot of fun. The musicians so obviously have a good time playing the music, that it cannot be otherwise for the listener. Many thanks, Menachem Vinegrad- Radio Upper Galilee- Israel.
Media name: george young
Company name: country club productions pty ltd
Date: 2007-09-12 06:10:26
    Feedback: G'day Jeff, Great work on this disc. We like the music even more than the cover. Well done all round. One to be proud of. Thank's George Young
Media name: Kurt K. Gabriel
Company name: ECMA Radio
Date: 2007-07-26 12:32:29
    Feedback: Hello, From your Album "Tomato-Town" was the song "Tomato-Town" on air in my Week 05, 2007 program (as song # 04.). It was shown this following way on my playlist: 04. Lefty Jones Band Tomato-Town © Lefty Jones Band Be sure that I will bring your songs from time to time in my forthcoming programs. All the best to you. Kurt ECMA-Radio/Archangel's Music Corner
Media name: Eric Cohen
Company name: WAER - 88.3FM
Date: 2007-07-14 12:55:55
    Feedback: A most interesting recording to say the least....cuts that I liked the most were: Death Valley Dreams Punchin'
Media name: Rory Burke
Company name: CORKS 103FM
Date: 2006-12-12 08:31:30
edia name: Tony Bates
Company name: Highlands 100.7FM
Date: 2006-12-09 05:52:47
    Feedback: Well....where to start! This band knows how to have fun, but the question is: at whose expense? The sheer mayhem of The Lefty Jones Band, combined with their anarchic ways, shows that the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band has left its impression on some people's minds. The musical interplay is fascinating whilst also being bewildering; is this band totally introverted or are they introverted extroverts? Who knows! The point is, however, that this band HAS fun and remains true to its roots (wherever they might emanate from and spread to) and could well be called THE garage band of the year. Forget genres and get into these guys! Tony Bates Station Librarian 100.7 Highlands FM Victoria Australia PS. Please feel free to visit our website: www.highlandsfm.org.au and to sign our guest book as well as going to the LINKS page, whereby we can set up a reciprocal deal re each others webpages. All good free publicity, especially as we receive many hits on our site.
About CD: Lefty Jones Band:

“some kind of acid-drenched hoe-down!”……Revolver magazine?  About 10 years ago
about RED SAILS:  (review by CDbaby buyer)

first rate. it grows on you
author: tom
The title song will grow on you--it has a poetic, lyric quality. Who is the kid? And why is he far from home? The kid may be you. Many other memorable cuts on the cd. I love the feeling that these songs were recorded by a bunch of musicians who got together for a hoedown, passed a bowl, and cut the cd. The melodies flow. And stay with you.
About TOMATO TOWN (review by CD baby buyer):

great gutbucket blues/folk with a playful twist
author: bobeff
the cover seduced me but the tunes are a deliberately crusty, immediate blend of rock/folk/blues that recalls stripped steve earle/early dylan/kinky friedman--dig it! i'll be checking out the rest of the catalog, but this one's a keeper(back off, e-bay!) nice piano ,
Lefty Jones Band

(Saturday CD 7878-2, Copyright 1993, Time: 72:19)
Producer: Not Credited, Engineer: Jim Fourniadis, Tracks: Mystery; Baby Baby Johnson; My Old Dog; Billy Bean; Brotherhood of Man; Your Kiss; Slightly Suicidal; Robert E. Lee; Dancing With the Dopes; Drop the Duck; Horse; Piny Woods; Hold On Hannah
Alternative country in the Tarnation, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt vein. Lefty Jones Band have a touch more honky tonk going on here. While certainly using old (and I mean really old) country music as a base, Lefty Jones Band blur the lines a bit in a country/folk/blues way. There's some nifty minimalist stuff here. Think slight touches of Velvet Underground (very slight), too. Saturday Records, 233 E. 3rd St. #@1A, New York, NY 10009.
Zookeeper online,  reviewed by Walter E. Gough,  Reviewed 2009-04-03
Why should you pay any attention to a disc that by its own admission is the musical equivalent of leftovers? Because Lefty Jones is a talented songwriter and this collection of demos and basement tapes is full of little unpolished gems.  Most tracks feature just Jones singing and playing guitar.  On the electric tracks, his amplifier sounds like it was bought at a garage sale.  When he goes acoustic, we hear his fingers sliding over the strings.  Experiments with different instrumentation are also fruitful.  Jones’ gravelly rasp isn’t for everyone but it befits the rye tone of his songs and within the protest ballad tradition.
LEFTY JONES BAND - Red Sails (CD, Saturday Records, Acoustic/folk)

Very, very, VERY laid back music that sounds as if it were recorded in someone's living room with a bunch of old friends playing songs they've known for a very long time. It's this band's home grown, organic sound that makes this disc sound unlike others I've run across this month. The main songwriter is Jeff Harris, and the guy certainly comes up with some real genuine songs on this CD. In addition to acoustic guitars, the songs are filled with banjo, violin, pedal steel guitar, and more. At times, this music is more bluegrass than folk. Whatever it is, it's not your standard fare...and that's what makes the Lefty Jones Band stand out. Best tracks: "Red Sails," "Jonesy," "Rain Comes Down," and "Shiny River." (Rating: 4)
      Babysue Reviews—February 1997


Stamford  University—KZSU  90.1 FM:

Your Imaginary Friend
Reviewed 2013-08-13 

Neil Young, Creedence, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, classic folk/blues rock artists come to mind. Great songwriting with sincere themes and honest playing. Slightly off key vocals in places keep this grounded with us real folks. KZSU gets a lot of submissions in this category but its rare we get the real deal, genuine songwriting and playing with social integrity.

1) (4:21) “I don’t want it in my home”. Title track, upbeat barroom rock is great
2) (4:03) minor ballad “we are frying the planet”
3) (3:57) piano ballad, bluesy
4) (5:40) dark minor tom tom beat style
5) (4:19) swamp blues boogie feel, sing along
6) (5:06) pretty waltzing piano
7) (4:57) pleasant southern fried rock
8) (6:03) slow ballad
9) (4:23) simple upbeat blues progression
10) (4:42) piano ballad “old folks dance”, sweet!
11) (5:00) simple song, “fishing pier”
12) (3:33) simple, plucky
13) (6:08) harmonica ballad, piano joins, epic jam


Track Listing



Don't Want It In My Home



Down By The River


We Are Frying The Planet



Faith In Blues


Mother Mary





Down In The Hole



Old Folks Dance


Grilled-Cheese & A Dancing Tomato



Fishing Pier


Your Soul-Mate's Arrived



Money Country (2)



If I Felt Better


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