Jo Henley @ T Bones Plymouth, The Boys are back in Town!

June 3, 2013

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Americas Home Town was pushed through the portal from spring to summer last night as the Mighty Jo Henley Band literally  blew the windows out at T Bones in Plymouth Center.  Harleys, hotties and hot rods paraded past the wide open windows at this landmark, seaside eatery as summer-like temperatures hovered around a perfect eighty degrees.

jh2However, things were about to really heat up.  What can you say about Jo Henley? Three longtime friends make up the foundation of this talented organization whose genres morph from country twang to genuine folk and then climb the musical  ladder past Bluegrass,  Blues, Cocktail Jazz, Creole, Calypso Soul, Funk  and brilliant, crisp, clean, polished granite rock and roll.  Lead guitarist Ben Lee is a modern master of the strings.  Seeing him plugged in for the first time was amazing.  At the Blue Moon Coffee House this winter,  Ben bullied the folk guitar unmercifully, forcing it to wail and yell in ways it was never meant to work. The result was a stellar, unforgettable, unplugged folk performance that had us buying CD’s and checking their website for their next outing.  Tonight, we got a glimpse into the depth of talent this kid possesses.  Gone was the quiet turnip truck kid with a caboose hat pulled over his face, sitting in the chair with his head down trying to keep it folksy enough for the Blue Moon faithful. What we saw was a Clapton-esque performance, where Ben cruised the frets of his Stratocaster like some digital roller coaster of sound. He makes it cry and sing,  jumping from thunderous heavy-metal lows, then cruising all the way south on the neck picking and running from Page to Santana back to Garcia and Terry Kath. Ben Lee is truly one of the great guitarists of our time and place.  I put him up against any of the greats and he’ll hold his own.

Singer, song writer, story teller, front man Andy Campolieto carries ten bags of talent jhhimself.  Brilliant scores laced with uplifting lyrics make Campo’s songs sear their way into that permanent and eternal  spot in your mind reserved for great music.  Three CD’s filled up with a myriad of musical styles and genres, searing guitar licks, rolling thunder bass and percussions, all carefully mastered by Mohawk records, have  found their way to my favorites on the I pod. Songs like Clinton’s Ditch, The Kitty West, Sad Songs and Alcohol, Right Here for You, Just Like Rain and two dozen others, all bear the signature of greatness, and with the right exposure, would be on the lips of millions of Americans.

jh3Mike Dingley on drums is a sleeper for sure.  Content to sit back and carry the percussion foundation at gigs like the Blue Moon, Mike was more like Keith Moon at T Bones.  Sticks, brushes, hammers and a size ten boot on the bass exposed this mild-mannered percussionist for the skin-pounding maniac he is.  Dingley kept pace  on the modest drum kit going riff for riff with his counterparts on stage as they ran through three hours of great music.

jh4

 

 

Andy Campolieto: vocals, guitar; Ben Lee: lead guitar, banjo, dobro, vocals; Mike Dingley: drums, vocals; Kent Stephens: bass, vocals.

 

 

The Jo Henley Band at T Bones in Plymouth – A great night out in New England. Check out Jo Henley on Facebook 

Jo Henley at Blue Moon Coffee House review