Between 1994 and 2004, Davy showed his mettle as a songwriter, producer, and arranger when he unleashed thirty of his original songs on a trio of albums: JUST FOR THE RECORD (VOL. FOUR) (1996), JUST ME (2001), and JUST ME 2 (2004). The essential mixes from all these albums are now available on this pair of download albums: JUST ME (AGAIN) VOLUMES ONE and TWO--with added alternate mixes, demos, outtakes, and more.
Casting a wide style-net and produced with a classic British rock sound, contributors included synthesizer wizard John Bechdel (Fear Factory, Gary Numan), Johnny J. Blair, Tim Breon (David Rose, Olivia Newton-John), Grammy-winning engineer Rusty Richards (Michelle
Shocked, Brian Wilson), and members of Davy’s road band.
The music received excellent reviews around the industry, including All Music Guide ("Four Stars") and fellow Monkee Peter Tork, who described JUST ME series as "the best thing Davy has done."...more
JUST ME infers a companion work to JUSTUS, the 1996 reunion album by The Monkees. Members of the Jones/Monkees road band made the JUST ME sessions along with players from the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, synthesizer wizard John Bechdel (Fear Factory, Gary Numan), Tim Breon (Olivia Newton-John, David Rose), Grammy-winning engineer Rusty Richards (Michelle Shocked, Brian Wilson), some central Pennsylvania bands, and other notables, but, for the sake of summarizing the musical vision, it’s still “just David Jones” and his music.
David cast a wide net for this project, stretching beyond the usual ‘song and dance’ routine. Gentle, jazzy ballads are offset by anthems of orchestral bluster beholden to his British pop/rock heritage. Then come Caribbean rhythms, Motown-style r&b, and even baroque and medieval music. John Bechdel contributed drum loops and synthesizer pulses to “What a Night.” A samba beat runs through “Hold Me Tight”, layered with accordion, keyboards, reeds and a pedal steel guitar.
Edited review by Joseph W. Smith III for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette 7/19/2001:
"Davy Jones once claimed he was just a lucky guy who got some good breaks, but his new solo album suggest that there is more to it than luck. JUST ME (alluding to The Monkees' 1996 comeback album JUSTUS) testifies as much to the local music scene as it does to the one-time teen idol. While Jones handles songwriting, vocals, guitar, and percussion, the album features plenty of other local talent: John Bechdel of Fear Factory, Williamsport Symphony Orchestra cellist Linda Kanski, Neon Cactus' Easy Mark Tomeo, and guitarist Tim Breon...Jones voice is stronger than ever, especially in the Tom Jones-style anthem 'My Love' and the reprise of 'Hold Me Tight,' which is beautifully spoken, rather than sung.
"Other highlights include the relaxed, piano lounge-style 'I'm Still in Love With You,' the opener 'Hold Me Tight,' with a mellow backdrop of synthesized rhythms and juicy drum work; and 'If Only For One Moment,' blending buoyant 60s sentiments with bouncing 80s techno-pop...The album was co-produced by Jones and Johnny J. Blair. The latter has proven himself something of a Midas on the local music scene. Like other Blair productions, JUST ME has a wonderfully rich and vibrant sound..." (end)
JUST ME promotional notes 6/00 by Johnny J. Blair "Singer at Large"
There I was standing in the den of Spruce Lawn, a room cluttered with family pictures and fascinating remnants of works in motion—instruments, mixing boards, tapes, CDs, a gold record or two. A paper is sitting on the out of tune piano. The Manchester Cowboy has scrawled in Sharpie, “The Jones Blair Project.” I asked him, “Wot’s all this then?” He replies, with a straight face, “You’ve heard of the ‘Blair Witch Project.’ Now watch out for the ‘Jones Blair Project,’” “Ahm, OK, so when do I start screaming into the camcorder?
Actually, I was honored to be considered “partner” this way. I’ve been so engrossed in the production process I didn’t notice how how deep the imprints were going.
The title infers a companion work to JUSTUS, the under-rated and valiant effort which reunited The Monkees in 1996. JUSTUS was all new, all original, as is JUSTME. However, instead of a number of writers, it’s all David Jones on JUSTME. He’d already shown his compositional mettle by writing at least a couple dozen laudable album tracks for The Monkees’ catalogue over the years. Two of David’s tracks included here were actually made before JUSTUS and The Monkees re-recorded them using the Jones’ versions for reference. I like all of the versions—everyone brings their own flavor to the party.
He cast a wide net for this project, stretching beyond the usual ‘song and dance’ routine the agents keep trying to saddle him with. Gentle, jazzy ballads are offset by anthems of orchestral bluster beholden to his British pop/rock heritage. It was fun exploring Caribbean rhythms, Motown-style r&b and even baroque and medieval music. That said, while he often gives me leverage to commandeer his arrangements, “Hold Me Tight” is 100% David’s arrangement.
A growing legion of fans keep asking for “Davy’s originals.” Might as well deliver them. He’s more than the starry-eyed guy who sang to Marcia Brady. People who enjoy straightforward, sturdy pop songs should have JUSTME on their playlist. It’s time to rethink the whole Jones equation and you’re holding the reason why.
released February 15, 2011
Produced by David T. Jones & Johnny J. Blair
Recorded at various studios in central PA and Nashville TN. Engineered by John Bechdel, Tim Breon, Fett, Skip Kline, and Rusty Richards.
Musicians on all songs:
David T. Jones--guitar, percussion, lead & harmony vocals
Johnny J. Blair--accordion, bass, drums, drum programs, guitars, keyboards, Mellotron, percussion, vocal harmonies
David "Loafy" Alexander--keyboards, vocal harmonies
John Bechdel--drum loops, keyboards, synthesizer
Skip Kline--drum/percussion programming
Aviva Maloney--saxophone, vocal harmonies
Rusty Richards--drum/percussion programming
"Easy" Mark Tomeo--pedal steel guitar
Autumn Ayers, Cassie Blair (duet on "I Wanna Be Me"), Joy Milbrand, & Janet Richards.