Singer/songwriter and bassist Willie Jones is no relation to any of the jazz musicians of the same name, numerous enough to have begun numbering themselves. Part of an international country and folk-rock scene connected both directly and indirectly to the Nashville sound itself, Jones has sometimes spent more than a year tinkering on a solo effort while simultaneously releasing material as a member of Shady Mix, a band whose name sounds like an allergic reaction to a producer.
Country & western fans who see this artist's name associated with the German Bear Family label might incorrectly assume that he is some kind of obscure artist from the '50s. A lesser-known aspect apart from that label's extensive reissue program is support of homegrown country talent, as in pickers whose first names happen to be Wolfgang. Of all the European nations, however, Germany has always been the biggest hotbed of interest in American country music, perhaps the reason the song "I Wish I Could Sprechen Sie Deutsch" has become a genre standard.
The snooty may point to the cosmopolitan European society in order to explain Jones' interest in R&B or jazz influences. The Nashville scene has always had the same sophisticated input, however, meaning Jones might just be connecting the dots when enlisting top-name country establishment session men such as Jerry Douglas and Buddy Aldridge for his projects, on dobro and pedal steel respectively. Jones has also been featured on three Shady Mix albums on three different labels, including Bear Family's Bottomlands. Collaborators in the band include the previously hinted at Wolfgang, as in bassist Wolfgang Gohringer. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi