Jp of John-Paul Jones Group talks new album Broke in Bridge City

Jp of John-Paul Jones Group talks new album Broke in Bridge City


John-Paul “Jp” Jones is an Iowegian heavy blues recording artist who performs as John-Paul Jones Group. With over 5300 followers and subscribers on Facebook and other social media outlets, the group’s content has had over 14,000 plays since 2015 Jp has opened for, collaborated with and/or shared stages with Black Oak Arkansas, Ernie Peniston, Kevin Burt, Iron Maidens and many more.
After a very successful series of performances in 2018 at the Iowa State Fair & Iowa Blues Challenge. The group went on to perform in 2019 at the 9th Bourbon & Blues, 30th Annual End of Summer Rally, and a repeat performance at the Iowa State Fair.  2019 also hosted the inaugural Patriot’s Picnic Concert Series dedicated to helping veterans service organizations. This series is hosted and donated exclusively to VFW & American Legion posts throughout the midwest by Professor Jp featuring the John-Paul Jones Group
With the 2020 Pandemic, Professor Jp utilized the time available due to the live entertainment crash to write an evocative album of songs and they are featured on the February 2021 release entitled “Broke In Bridge City” to learn more please visit the website

What is the story behind your latest album release ?

Well after a successful concert season in 2019 we set up to go on a break at the end of the year and then started pre-production in 2020, but due to covid and my having diabetes, we had to reschedule or cancel all dates in 2020.

Needless to say the after effects of navigating and/or observing the pandemic responses here in Iowa, United States really affected my perspectives. I unexpectedly had a lot of time on my hands to reflect on the life experiences of myself and others.

So thus began my 7 month journey of writing and recording a collection of very personal songs. The topics and emotions of these songs,  I feel they are universal human issues, circumstances and situations.

What inspires you to make music?

Life… music is the one activity that allows me to have freedom of emotional expression.   When I strap on a guitar my emotions are in their most authentic and open format.

I also believe that the listener’s reaction to music is the most authentic.

So it inspires me to try to reach for that connection with the listener/audience,  either through the recorded music or by live performance.

What were some of the musical inspirations for the production on the album?

I’m glad you asked me because my hands are is going to be probably non-typical response when it comes to recording in the Modern Age post 1990s

My musical inspiration for this album production was to make sure that I was authentic to the early Heavy Blues productions pioneered by studios & bands that I admire.

I’m focused on the production on the sounds of the mid-60s to the mid-70s and production quality and recording techniques used on those albums, while using modern digital recording equipment.

Specific albums that inspire this album are

Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

Robin Trower’s Bridge of Sighs 

Rory Gallagher’s Irish tour 74 

James Brown Live at The Apollo

Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced.

Buddy Guy and Junior Wells

I produced this album with the help of mix engineer Angeliki Mourgela

She helped me find that mid 60s – mid 70s sound.

Those albums (to me) sound the best and are timeless. 

I wanted to try to make an album that sounded raw and innocent.  No autotune or time alignment, with this album you experience the music raw and HUMAN.

We used a mixture of production techniques from the 50’s thru the 70’s.

I hope when you listen to the music you will feel like you’re in the room with us

Can we expect a CD and vinyl album release as well as digital, if so when?

Thanks for asking yes we are currently promoting the upcoming release

It will be available on CD, LP and on major digital distributors.

Do you have any plans to tour in 2021?

We currently have shows planned that were rescheduled from 2020 but as of right now due to pandemic and covid concerns we will see how the year pans out 

Our typical concert season is May to October and our agent is booking now for the USA as well as rescheduling 2020 dates.

We do have a couple of amazing live projects

The Patriot’s Picnic Concert Series we provide free of charge concerts hosted at local veteran service organization posts, these facilities do a lot of good in the community and we are here to help.

Also we are also working on a very specific event series called the “Iowa Soul Brothers Revue”  which is going to feature Kevin Burt, Ernie Peniston and John Paul Jones Group, all authentic black blues/roots artists from Iowa.

How has COVID affected your musical journey?

We cancelled and/or postponed all our dates in 2020

It has shown me to reflect on life and spend more time with family and loved ones.  

Time is a very valuable finite asset and it’s a one-time shot once the minute has passed you don’t get it back,  you miss an hour you miss 60 minutes,  but you can never get back the time lost with loved ones dwelling on something unimportant.

Because of health concerns I had to record this album in isolation and with remote collaborators drum parts wrote and demoed were re-recorded by Chris Barber in Sheffield UK 

The album was mixed by Angeliki Mourgella (from Greece) in London England.

What’s your favourite ever album?

I don’t know how to answer that there are so many

Would it be wrong to say “Broke In Bridge City”  by John-Paul Jones Group be too obvious? haha

I’ll tell you what my other favorite albums of all time are. I think every person should have these records in their collection.

I’ve mentioned a few others already so I’m going to give you a few from the past and the present.

Past albums that most influenced my formative years as a guitarist are… 

Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland

Rory Gallager – Irish tour 74

Robin Trower – Bridge of Sighs

Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak 

John Butcher’s – Pictures From The Front

Tony MacAlpine – Maximum Security

Greg Howe – Introspection

Frank Zappa – Apostrophe & Overnight Sensation

From the present right now what I’m listening to without a doubt is 

Kevin Burt – “Stone Crazy”

Christone Ingram –  “Kingfish”

The Bush League – “Didn’t See This Coming”

Describe your music in 3 words?

Authentic Heavy Blues

Who would you most like to collaborate with in the future?

Right now I’m hoping that I get to collaborate with Ernie Peniston and Kevin Burt.  I hope one day I get to collaborate with Booker T. Jones, Mickey Guyton or Corey Glover.  I also wish I could sit in a room and just talk music and guitars with Steve Cropper, Buddy Guy, Billy Gibbons and/or Jon Butcher.

Why should people buy this album?

I believe the musical quality of the album is great, but I also think that the themes and topics covered in these songs are relatable to any human being.  Regardless of ethnicity, color, gender,  nationality or financial status… the album is about the human condition, it’s for everyone.

The album is a reflection on human circumstance from the perspective of a native black Iowegian. My family is 7 generations integrated into the Southeastern Iowa (USA) community.  I’m very proud of being an Iowegian, as we call ourselves from that area. I hope folks from everywhere learn a little bit about my unique perspective on a life shaped by a proud family legacy dating back pre American Civil War, by an escaped slave and Civil War Veteran.

Also if you do want to purchase it a couple ways you can get it the easiest way is or you can go to our website at

I want to really thank you for speaking with me and taking time to let me share a little bit about myself and my music have a great day


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