~Wizz Jones~

There are few musician's with more claim to being a 'musician's musician' than Wizz - learning his craft from the likes of Davy Graham and John Baldry, busking through Europe with Rod Stewart and cited by Clapton as an early influence. I suspect you're thinking this chap could be worth a listen.

In Croydon in 1958 he was a 'Wrangler' - no not a salesman in a jeans shop but a member of a country and skiffle group of that name. Inspired to take up guitar by seeing people like Muddy Waters and Jack Elliot at Alexis Korner's Roundhouse club in Soho's Wardour Street.

His early folk club experience was as a duo with banjo-ist Pete Stanley.That lasted for 4 years from '63-'67. In '67 he went solo,apart from when he played with guitarist Pete Berryman. Much of the songwriting was in collaboration with Alan Tunbridge, an old art school friend.

Wizz peaked in the 1970s with many European tours and several albums. Then despite glowing testimonials from the likes of Clapton, Renbourn, McTell and the like the 1980s saw a reversal of fortunes until 1988!

In 1988 an album called 'The Grapes of Life' was released, featured in Folk Roots in 1990 and a revival of interest in Wizz's work was sparked off. Two albums followed in 1993 including 'The Village Thing Tapes' (highlights from those halcyon days in Bristol). Two tracks were featured on an album taken from a BBC TV documentary called 'Acoustic Routes' - who can forget the footage of Al Stewart, Bert Jansch and Wizz doing a Last of the Summer Wine impression wandering along Greek Street seeking out old haunts like the Cousins club.

1995 saw an album released on a US label called 'Dazzling Stranger' (the album's called that not the label - not too good at grammer!)

We first booked Wizz in 1973 during his peak period. I always liked the album 'Legendary Me' just in case anybody wondered!

TK©2002

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