Ayron Jones and The Way play Rocky-Tonk
Ayron Jones and The Way are bringing a new sound out of Seattle. The trio's approach to music grew from the raw energy of punk and the urban attitude of hip-hop mixed with blues and rock. Think Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Nirvana.
Jones and The Way's 2013 debut album, "Dream," produced by emcee Sir Mix-a-Lot, met with rave reviews from audiences and local media, but it was the sold-out release show that made the biggest statement for Jones. The Seattle Times wrote that he had "elevated himself into the conversation of rock royalty."
"I grew up here, so my sound is influenced by heavy Seattle rock and a mix of blues and punk sounds," Jones says during a telephone interview. "When I was learning to play guitar, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King and B.B. were playing the music a lot of others were trying emulate in the early '90s. It was that tone. Especially Vaughn. He was part of that whole blues rock revival. He is the pioneer of blues rock, really."
Regional bands Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Mudhoney also were huge influences on Jones' music.
"I took those blues and rock sounds and infused them with heavy Seattle sounds," he says. "Artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Ray Charles influenced my lyrics and vocals. They wrote really pretty stuff, at the same time it came across raw."
Jones and The Way will play Friday, Feb. 13, at The Rocky-Tonk Grill & Saloon, 333 E. Main St., Medford. Ashland rock band 100 Watt Mind will share the bill. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover costs $5.
Strat player and frontman Jones, along with bass player DeAndre Enrico and drummer Kai Van De Pitte are working with multi-instrumentalist and producer Barrett Martin at Avast Studios in Seattle on a new album to be released late this year or early next year.
"I think the new album will reflect the band's growth since 'Dream,' " Jones says. "We've played a lot more this past year. The stages and the crowds have been bigger. We've shared bills with B.B. King, The Presidents of the United States, Train, Michael Franti. The shows we're getting are definitely a reflection of our growth as artists, and I think the next album will reflect that.
"The past several years, we've focused on the sound we create as a group," he says. "I think we're going to be able to put that forward and let listeners hear an approach to music that's not been done before. It's an approach to urban rock more than an approach to Seattle punk, Seattle grunge sounds and blues that audiences haven't heard put together before."
Jones and his band now have their sights set on national attention, playing festivals such as Sasquatch, Treefort, the Waterfront Blues Festival and Bumbershoot. Before the group plays the Rocky Tonk, it will make stops for shows at The White Eagle in Portland and McMenamins in Bend.
Then it's off to Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest.
"I think we're going to be a big splash in Austin," Jones says.