SureShotFoto.com Sir Mix-A-Lot Concert 1Mix-A-Lot proving that classics never die -photo © SureShotfoto.com
Yes you heard it right Sir-Mix-A-Lot!!! Sir Mix-A-Lot aka Anthony Ray, has been away from the spotlight for quite some time. No he's not back. Well, not yet and not as you might expect. Our homegrown hip hop Hall of Famer now is at home behind the production board. No, his next project isn't the next in a line of new up and comers looking to make their name in the rap game either. The project that consumes most of his time is a Seattle based rock group called "Ayron Jones and The Way."
--Insert two Paragraphs of Rambling Below
As my loyal readers now I'm a big fan of hip hop music, with that said in the week leading up to the concert I thought to myself that I'll just get there late to shoot "Mix-A-Lot" for my upcoming book that will be published in 2015 (insert gratuitous self promotion here) and then jet out. When I looked at the poster I was a bit puzzled that Ayron Jones name was above "Sir-Mix-A-Lot's." How could this be? It must be a mistake or something. Mix-A-Lot is a certified legend, he has the distinction of saying that his video was the first rap video ever played on MTV, why would he not be the headliner? Upon doing some further investigating I found out that the concert was in fact Ayron's release show for their first album entitled "Dream." Ok in that case I thought I could come early shoot "Mix", leave early and maybe get some of the early stages of editing done. Sweet sounds like a plan or not.....
The day before the show I stopped at a friends pizza shop, and we briefly chatted about what's going on with each of us and I mentioned the show. She says to me, "oh yeah that guy's awesome!" I'm thinking to myself of course he's awesome, has any other local hip hop artist even come close to what he's done? She continues to tell me that she borrowed a CD from a friend and it lived in her single disc CD player the entire time she had it (her friend had to ask for it back by the way). It quickly became evident that she wasn't talking about Sir Mix-A-Lot. The perplexed look on my face must have betrayed my ignorance because her endorsements of Mr. Jones quite vocal and frequent. So, me never wanting to be uninformed decided to do some digging, and I'm really glad I did.
So yes, I am now a card carrying fan of "Ayron Jones and the Way."
Anyway, I didn't come here to tell you any of that.
-On to the Show
I arrived just before Sir-Mix-A-Lot was to go on. Unfortunately, I missed another one of the acts that he manages, Miss Tomeka Williams. I've heard very good things about her. I'll definitely have to make it a point to catch one of her performances in the future.
After all of these years this was to be my first time seeing him perform live. I've seen him around town and even been to one of the video shoots from the "Swass" album, but this would be my first experience to see the artist who actually put Seattle on the hip hop map perform.
SureShotFoto.com Sir Mix-A-Lot Concert 2Hip hop legend Sir Mix-A-Lot going hard -photo © SureShotFoto.com SureShotFoto.com Sir Mix-A-Lot Concert 3Sir Mix-A-Lot interacting with the crowd and doing his thing. Thanks for the photobomb lady. -photo © SureShotFoto.com
Sir Mix-A-Lot performed his well known classics and whipped the sold out crowd into a frenzy for his relative new comer. Upon exiting the stage, Mix-A-lot one again confirmed that the night did not belong to him. "This is Ayron's night" he exclaimed. In his final sign off for the evening he declared that "Ayron Jones is the King of Seattle." "Wow" I thought, "That's a lot of pressure. Let's see how he handles it."
SureShotFoto.com Sir Mix-A-Lot Concert 4Mix was kind enough to give us a second for a photo after his set. -photo © SureShotFoto.com
Now it was time to see if Ayron could indeed live up to the praise given him by his producer. In short order Mr. Jones made it clear that he was in no way looking to make Mix-A-Lot a liar.
SureShotFoto.com Ayron Jones and the Way Concert 1Ayron Jones and the Way -photo © SureShotFoto.com
Ayron's brand of rock is somewhat tough to nail down to a specific "style." It is easy to see he's influenced by a lot of artists from a lot of genres. There are undoubtedly going to be comparisons to Jimi Hendrix for several reasons, but I see additional possible influences from the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn to Muddy Waters to Son House to Huddie Leadbetter. Now being mentioned in the same breath as any of these legends is already a great honor, not to mention on the release of your first album. That's downright impressive! Don't get me wrong he's not being enshrined in the Hall of Fame just yet. He posses a lot of raw energy, what bluesmen like to call "lightnin." This can only get you so far though. As he matures and gets more "mileage" he'll only get better. This young man definitely has his best days in front of him. I can't wait to see how he progresses.
SureShotFoto.com Ayron Jones and the Way Concert 2One of Ayron's gifts is being able communicate the range of human emotions with his guitar. -photo © SureShotFoto.com
SureShotFoto.com Ayron Jones and the Way Concert 3Ayron switching gears on us with his very soulful ballad "My Love Remains." -photo © SureShotFoto.com SureShotFoto.com Ayron Jones and the Way Concert 4The whole band profiled here. Deandre Enrico is the evil genius on Bass, Kai Van DePitte an absolute monster on drums and of course on guitar and vocals, the newly anointed "King of Seattle" - Ayron Jones -photo © SureShotFoto.com
SureShotFoto.com Ayron Jones and the Way Concert 5Stage Dive!!! -photo © SureShotFoto.com
I'm going to review, rate and give my comments and opinions on some kind of media, instrument or device. What people must understand, is that critics that universalize their reviews as gospel are always wrong 100 percent of the time. What the populace likes or dislikes is extremely subjective. There is no right or wrong answers as to if some piece of art is good or not. There just isn't. With that said critics are always wrong. What they should in fact say is something like, "If you're like me then...." or "If you have similar tastes to me then....." So I'll use either of the previous quotations and begin my review.
SureShotFoto.com Ayron Jones and the Way Concert 6This looks to be a solemn moment in the show. -photo © SureShotFoto.com
This particular night was again, "Ayron Jones and the Way's" album release party for the new album "Dream." It was a coming out party of sorts and come out he truly did. I downloaded the album as soon as I was able to. I remember thinking to myself, "Where did this kid get these blues chops? Wow!" This young bluesman sings and plays with such substance and the soul of much older more experienced artist.
At only 8 tracks, at first glance the album could seem infinitesimal, especially by today's mass consumption standards. Let me tell you, nothing could be farther from the truth. This is an album that you can listen to from front to back easily. This can't be said for a great many of the albums released these days. Of course some of the tracks resonate more than other but overall this is an extremely solid opening salvo for this young artist.
Here is my list of stand out tracks on this album:
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Check out some of our previous posts
SureShotFoto.com Ayron Jones and the Way Concert 11You ain't know??? Our guy Ayron's more that just a musician. it was evident that Ayron enjoyed every minute of being on stage. -photo © SureShotFoto.com