AURORA – To get an idea of how respected guitarist Jonathon Long is, consider he’s headed to this year’s Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival, fresh off appearing on Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping The Blues Alive Cruise in the Mediterranean. Long hits the stage Friday, Aug. 23 at the Kenlake Hot August Blues Festival.
For Jonathon Long, the road to Samantha Fish’s Wild Heart Records wound along the Big Muddy through Baton Rouge, where young guitar players travel to learn from and experience the legacy left there by the likes of Buddy Guy, Kenny Neal, Tabby Thomas, Lightnin’ Slim and so many others who fueled that vibrant blues scene going back decades into the last century.
Baton Rouge born Jonathon Long has claimed his own share of that legacy. He has mined, refined and re-defined his beloved blues for more than half his life. The shuffles and homages to the King’s and Collins’s, along with his mastery of the red Gibson, have evolved into what will certainly be a milestone in that legacy, his third album, titled simply ‘Jonathon Long’.
Recorded in post-Mardi Gras New Orleans earlier this year at NOLA Recording Studios, his latest album, Jonathon Long’ produced by 2018 Contemporary Female Blues Artist of the Year Samantha Fish, is an extra-ordinary collection of 11 songs, all written by Jonathon save for ‘The River’, written by Detroit’s Kenny Tudrick, a Samantha Fish cohort and drummer for the Detroit Cobras. Long is joined on the record by bandmates Chris Roberts on bass and Jullian Civello on drums, giving it a ‘live in the studio’ sonic signature.
He’s absorbed from and shared the stage with masters like B.B. King, won a nationwide blues guitar unsigned artist contest, produced his own instructional videos, is a regular at the Blues Tent at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and stays on the road, playing concerts, clubs and festivals here and abroad to a passionate and growing fan base.
The songs on Jonathon Long range from straight ahead blues, to stories of heartbreak, yearning, hope and redemption, to a drinking song. His own spirituality is front and center, but in a positive, non-preachy manner.