Italy-Italia Journal Music

FREE MUSIC- ’51 by Rowland Jones

Early last year I recorded this album: it’s called ’51 for the simple reason that I was born that year and my beautiful Gibson 175  also came to life! So we’re both equally scarred and battered but we’re still doing it! They’re all my songs, just me singin with my ‘ole guitar- there’s a bit of percussion but that’s it!!!

So for no other reason than I like the idea I’m giving away 51  free downloads of the album. All you have to to is subscribe to the site via RSS and I’ll send you the codes that will enable you to have free download of the complete album from Bandcamp AND for those of you who have already subscribed just drop me a line and I’ll send you the codes as well!


PS probably best to leave a comment here as well: so that I get alerted to a new subscription.

Journal Language Music Sketching Thoughts

Stylish Blogger Award!

I’ve just been awarded this by Dolly over at Journal Addict. Thanks to Dolly.

So now I have to share 7 things about myself.

1. ITALY I live in Italy which I fell in love with in 1988 when I first went to Milan. I moved from Manchester to village of about 850 people, where I live in a cantina, which was built in 14th century ap.

2. MUSIC I began playing the guitar more than forty years ago and I still love it:.I have performed my ‘contaminated blues’ throughout Italy, playing at many major festivals such as Trasimeno Blues, Tropea Blues and Etna Blues. I have only done one gig in ‘English’ since 2006- and that was a private party in a bookshop in Paris. I recorded music for short that was featured at Cannes Short Film Festival in 2009 and wrote a song for documentary that was nominated for a BAFTA in 2010.

3. WALES – I was born in Gorseinon hospital just outside Swansea. My wife was born Lesley Jones, my mother was born Mary Jones, and Lesley’s mother is called Mary Jones. One of my great grandfathers John ap Caradoc Jones ran The Globe – a pub in Swansea, but also conducted classical music concerts somewhere in North America during the 1860’s(?) One of the other great grandfathers was called Moses.

4.JOURNALS I started to keep a journal in 2003, using it for ranting, writing and scribbling(see below). 2009 my work is featured monthly in the Maastricht based arts paper ‘Zuiderlucht’. 2010 Amsterdam based publisher invites me to contribute a book to their collection. It is published in October 2010. Subsequently I am asked to produce illustrations for a book of Dutch poetry which is being launched in April 2011. I am also close to completing ‘My imaginary Lives’ described by my editor as ‘a graphic novel for the 21st century’ – a lot to live up to 🙂

5. DRAWING I always wanted to draw, but at school in the 50/60 you were classified as those who could and those who couldn’t I couldn’t. Leap forward to 2004 when Paul Nolan drags me kicking and screaming to a life-drawing class. I’m hooked and it becomes of regular routine together with keeping a journal.

6. PHOTOGRAPHY I started taking photographs when I was about 8 with a KODAK 44A which I still have in its original box! Self taught, I have taken photographs professionally mainly for audio-visual presentations, and finally in 2001 returned to university and was awarded a Masters degree in Photography.

7. CATS I love cats, and most of all Archie, my Bengal.  He is beautiful, intelligent and funny. He is elegant like a wild animal, a ferocious hunter, but also loves company and accompanies us to the bar and the pizzeria where he will wait patiently outside while we eat!

So now I pass the stylish blogger award on to three people

Pete Scully at

Pegoleg at Ramblings

Don at


highlights . . .

I stumbled across this today: a Trasimeno Blues jam session 2009.

God, it was fun!

Francesco from Bluesindrome, clearly having a good time: me playing Marco Baldelli’s Strat – I signalled to him that I’d like to play and was ready to get MY strat from the car: he just called me up on stage, and handed me his guitar: no greater love hath . . .

Seeing this picture brought it back. It was great. Thanks, guys.


Francesco Piu Trio at Paciano

Davide Speranza, Me, Francesco Piu and Pablo Leoni.

Great players, great show . . . . one of the best blues bands I have seen for a long time ….

and good guys….


Jan 2009 the musical story so far…

It was on 24th July 2007 that Lesley and I started our plan to meet people in blues: the first stop being Trasimeno Blues: a major festival and near where we live. The first people we met were Papaleg Acoustic Blues Duo, Pierluigi and Marco: two lovely guys from Abruzzo. I also met Brit Andy Martin, a slide/steel guitar player, who lives in Perugia.  Then Crystal White appeared and asked me if I was Smokin’ Joe Kubek- that night’s headline act! Also met up with Gianluca di Maggio, the brains behind Trasimeno Blues which now includes an Autumn Season called Bianco Rosso e Blues and Soul Christmas. 

It was few weeks later when we heard Cjmbaljna Blues Band playing in Panicale: I knew the drummer, and they invited me up to play a few numbers which was great fun. A few months later we met at another of their gigs, a friendly pizzeria called ricomincio da tre, run by Fabio, a great bloke and a crazy for guitars: we got on immediately….. It was at this point that CBB and I set up a ‘project’. We did our stage debut in February after several months of intense rehearsal, and then recorded a demo. This started the ball rolling.

After a number of local gigs to keep us match fit, we were invited to Sicilia Blues to play for ‘Blues Band on Stage 2009’ We were on after a band called Cotton Field Hollers; who had done well previously. Unfortunately for them (but not for us) this left them a little overconfident: they were very good but …. after all, who was this bunch of youngsters with some ‘ole guy’ fronting them?  We took the place apart, and in fairness they were extremely (and genuinely) complimentary after the gig. 24th May we were back South for the final in Sicily. This was fantastic fun, and we met some lovely people who have become close friends: in particular, Enzo and Teresa from the Walking Trees , and Sandro Pittari drummer with, amongst others, Marco Gioe’s Shotgun. In the end, the judges decided to invite all the bands to Etna, rather than selecting three as was the original plan!

June began with a solo gig here in the village, then 26th June we were at the other end of Italy. We were in the final of I.B.C. to select a band to represent Italy in Memphis 2009. We eventually came 5th. Had a great time and met more lovely musicians: including Tillamook, who deservedly won. Jimbo Mathus from New Orleans and hs band were fun: the only downpoint was the mosquitos who devoured Lesley!

A few days later it was The Blue Sunset where we again met the Papaleg boys, Andy Martin, Kellie Rucker and Olga, Jimbo’s wife who were all launching new CD’s: Also met Livia Palone who’s become a good friend.

8th July we arrived in Sicily  for Etna Blues. We were also invited to play with Max Stratos and the Border Radio in a little town called Lentini,  which was a good night out: more great guys! For Etna Blues, I reckon we had the best support slot as we were opening the first night : it went down really well and then we jammed with Nine Below Zero, and the guys from the King’s Brothers. The next few weeks were frantic with three gigs during Umbia Jazz, and then (on my birthday) the debut at Trasimeno Blues: which went well although the sound system let us down a bit. A week later I went to see Bluesindrome at Taverenelle and ended up playing with them and Crystal (White) which was excellent.

August saw my last gig with the project. So we ended where we’d started in Panicale. Again a great night, and fortuitously I met Carmelo Russo a guitar player from Genova. We rehearsed a few weeks later and though our musical backgrounds are somewhat (!) diverse: – – Gypsy Kings& Flamenco vs Blues&jazz – – it works! So another project Jamencuz was born.

At the beginning of September, I was involved with a project called ContaminazioniUrbane,  during which I fronted a jam session at Urban, and did a set at Al San Giovenale in Orvieto for the closing night, when Carmelo joined me for a few numbers. We then went off to Tropea for the blues Festival during which I jammed with Red Onions Band and met old friends: Enzo, Teresa, Kellie and made new ones Maurizo Pugno, and Sophie Kertesz and generally had a wonderful time!

October was my first major solo gig supporting Gege Telesforo for Bianco Rosso e Blues, part of Trasimeno Blues, which went down extremely well.

November and December have been relatively quiet on the gig front, but I did play wth Livia Palone at Lettere Caffe in Rome and did our first full gig with Jamencuz! which went down very well. The rest of the time (musically) has been spent in recording: since moving here March 2007 I have written 30 complete songs! Also I’ve been researching where to go next.

So that’s the story so far,

Next week I’ll post some of the plans we have and what we have done so far.