The playlist: Laurence Jones

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(Image: © Joby Sessions / Future)

Hard-working young bluesman Laurence Jones talks heroes, ballads and the power of Gary Moore.

The first song I remember… Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix

“I know it sounds cliched but my dad played me it and I heard that riff … before that I wasn’t really into music. I thought, ‘Wow this is incredible!’ After that I put a massive poster of Jimi with his white Strat in my bedroom. I looked at it every day and I knew that was what I wanted to do.”

The first song I learned… House Of The Rising Sun - The Animals

“My dad taught me to play that and luckily enough in 2015 I was able to play that onstage with Eric Burdon at the Royal Albert Hall. We were invited to play a festival and it was Sir Van Morrison, Eric Burdon, Walter Trout, Ruby Turner and myself. Eric asked a few guitarists to get up and jam with him. It was a pretty special moment because my dad taught me that song and would joke, ‘I’m better than you.’ He was in the audience that night so I could turn to him and say, ‘I’m better than you now!’”

A song I covered early on… Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream

“That song and Voodoo Child - the classics! Obvious choices for me, and many other people, but what it taught me is how to put my own stamp on covers because there’s no way I could just copy them. I didn’t want to do a mediocre cover, I wanted to change the tempo, the feel and the phrasing on the vocals and guitar solos.”

A song I’d like to cover… Dancing In The Moonlight - Thin Lizzy

“I’ve been messing around with it and we were going to put it on the last album but we’re saving it. I love the lyrics and also the guitar riff is catchy - it has that energy. It’s pop from the '70s but with real guitar music and that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do on my current album.”

A song that was challenging to write… Take Me - Laurence Jones

“That’s basically a ballad and that’s something I’ve just started to do, introducing it into my vocabulary. It’s quite vulnerable but at the same time it needs to be powerful. One of my biggest heroes is Gary Moore and he was amazing at writing ballads. So for me to take on the challenge of a ballad was really exciting. It took a while to get the feel right but once we got it together it was cool.”

A song I’m enjoying playing live… Gone Away - Laurence Jones

“It’s got my influence from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lenny Kravitz… if they had a baby! It starts on with that funky kind of riff; Lenny Kravitz has that take on them that’s like listening to Stevie Wonder through a Marshall stack. In the solo, I let rip with my SRV influence with fast guitar licks. It’s got some nice chords in there, too.”

A song that reminds me of home when I’m touring… Just Like Heaven - The Cure

“This is quite an odd one, but when I listen to The Cure it reminds me that my dad had a massive vinyl collection - and I’d always choose to put certain albums on. One was The Cure, one was Jimi Hendrix, another was Rory Gallagher and The Groundhogs too.”

A solo that I find really powerful… Still Got The Blues - Gary Moore

“It just howls with emotion from that relationship. His guitar is more powerful than the voice on that record, which you don’t really get any more.”

Laurence Jones’s new album The Truth is out now on Top Stop Music.

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