Paul Wine Jones
Born: July 1, 1946, Flora, Mississippi
Died: October 9, 2005
Photo credit: Bill Steber – www.steberphoto.com
Jones learned to play guitar by the age of four. In his teens he played at house parties, and later worked with James “Son” Thomas and harmonica player Willie Foster. However, Jones played music mainly as a pastime, while working on farms up to 1971, when he became a welder in Belzoni, Mississippi. In 1995 and 1996, Jones performed outside of Mississippi, when he was a member of Fat Possum’s ‘Mississippi Juke Joint Caravan’. His 1995 debut album, Mule, was produced by the music critic Robert Palmer. This album revealed Jones as a sturdy practitioner of the droning, timeless blues played by so many Mississippi musicians, from Kimbrough and Burnside to John Lee Hooker. Cheerfully accentuating his guitar lines with a wah-wah pedal, and tightly accompanied by the incomparable drummer Sam Carr and guitarists Big Jack Johnson and Kenny Brown, Jones turned whiskery old numbers like Diggin’ my Potatoes into what Palmer called “progressive country blues”. Fat Possum as well as managing the latter careers of Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside, gave opportunity to a number of amateurs, mostly from rural Mississippi, who had seldom or never recorded before. Some, such as T-Model Ford and Asie Payton, moved on to higher billing, but others such as Jones, were left on the sidelines.