Montreal summer is quickly approaching, and with it comes the high season of music, events, and festivals. The first day of summer 2018 will be heralded in by the modern bluesman and fantastic guitar player Carvin Jones. He will be playing for the very first time in Montreal on June 21st at Club Soda.
Carvin is the musician of whom Eric Clapton said “…I think he is the next up-and-coming blues player”. Praised by BB King and Buddy Guy, Carvin opened shows for Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck, Gary Moore and John Mayall. He also has a solid following in Europe, selling out show after show in the old continent.
We spoke with Carvin over the phone, spoke about hats, music, blues and what to expect from his Canadian tour.
Tell us about yourself and what we should expect from this tour.
Carvin Jones: I’m excited about it because I love Canada. Last year was my first tour of Canada ever. I was in Calgary and Edmonton, but I’ve never been to Montreal or Toronto yet.
Nice! Will this be your first visiting Montreal?
Yeah. First time ever in Montreal and Toronto also. I was very happy to realize that I can get on an airplane for a three-hour flight, and come to such a big country with a lot of blues legends. I’d normally have to fly to Europe, Germany, or Spain, about 15 hours, to arrive to such great blues audiences. Great blues…only a three-hour flight.
Yeah. It’s shorter than some people’s commute to work in a day! People driving three or four hours to go to work. You’re coming here to play the blues, and give us some joy and delight with your music.
About your music, I’ve heard some past interviews where you mentioned all your blues influences. How about outside of blues? What do you listen to?
Yeah, I listen to some blues, and some rock and roll. 50 Cent also. I listen to a lot of 50 Cent, yeah!
Looking through your album, you have a very strong connection with Spain.
Yes, because I’ve been touring Spain now for over 12 years, and I have a huge following in Spain. The tour is sold out every time I go there. It rules!
Nice. How is your Spanish?
Shit! That’s too much. I can’t speak it, but hey…
I saw the people that accompany you in your last albums, and I discovered some Spanish artists that I didn’t know. Is your following also strong in other parts in Europe?
You’ve had a lot of success out there?
Yes. Yes. Absolutely. Man, they love me in Portugal. They love me in France, you know what I’m saying?
How do you enjoy those countries?
Oh man, the food there is beautiful. The ladies are beautiful!
Here too. You’ll come to enjoy both the food and the ladies here in Montreal. Great things to see, and enjoy here in Montreal and Toronto.
Absolutely. Yeah. And man, I’m really very excited about the Montreal show. You know what I mean? So I’m hoping that we have a great turnout. It’s the first time there, so I gotta see how it goes.
That’s what we’re here for and hopefully, we could bring a lot of people to the show. Maybe even get a stronger following than in Spain.
It’s a funny thing, because I was quite excited to talk to you, I was listening to your albums. It’s a good thing I listened to it in private, because I was gonna show it to my daughter, but there were some songs that were not age-appropriate for he.
Wait a minute man, you talking about the rap song, right?
Yeah, and there’s “Tell Me How You Like It”.
Yes! Yes! (Laughs) Hey man, that’s a big hit for me in Spain.
Oh wow. I didn’t see any parental advisory or anything like that.
No, but it’s a beautiful song though.
Oh yeah, it is! I was just about to introduce it to my daughter and I was like, “Oh my God.” Good thing …
It’s a beautiful song!
I really enjoy some of your other albums. I listened to a couple of your live sets in Europe. You also played in Italy, and there were some songs from one of the festivals there.
Yeah, like I said, we have a big following in Spain, Italy, France, Argentina, Brazil, Amsterdam, and Australia is coming up. Everywhere, yeah.
What is it that inspires you in food? Do you cook yourself?
No man, I have a chef that I bring in during the week. He fixes all my meals. I try to stay healthy, so yeah, I work out in the gym six days a week. I never smoke or drink.
That’s nice. Not smoking or drinking, is this is something you’ve been doing for a long time, or is it something new?
I just never did it. So then I say: Well man, I didn’t do it when I was young, so no need to start now.
Has it been difficult?
No, because I see what it does to so many people. So then it’s like, “Okay, shit! I don’t wanna do anything like that. It’s just too crazy.”
Yeah, we’ve lost so many to diabetes, and hypertension, things like that.
Yeah, drugs, and shit.
And then just recently losing BB King. Even Taj Mahal is sick. It’s good you’re having a healthy lifestyle so you can enjoy life more, and keep making music for a long time…
What is one question that you would like to be asked, that no one has asked you yet?
I don’t know man. I’ve been interviewed 15,000 times. And so I don’t know. I think everybody has it all covered. But man, like I said, I try to tell everybody that if you come to the Carvin Jones show, you will see something that you’ve never seen in your life. You know what I mean man?
Why is that?
Because we play with the fire, with the actual intensity and showmanship, all three things combined there. Most bands, they don’t combine all three things.
So it’s a combination of those things that make the show, and give you that following…
It’s unique, absolutely unique, unique, unique.
Your hats are also very unique..
Custom made hat, yeah. I have several hats, but the custom ones are my favourite.
Did you get any hats in Spain or clothing from Europe as you traveled? Anything you collect while you travel?
No man, I just collect fans all over. That’s what I do. I collect fans. Children, women, men. We want everybody to enjoy this music.
Well, thank you so much for your time.
No man, thank you, brother.