Jim Jones Revue’s roots firmly planted in ’50s rock

Jim Jones is at home, and he’s getting a little buggy.

Following two straight months of Jim Jones Revue shows on his home side of the Atlantic, Jones finds himself in a holding pattern before crossing the pond for his band’s first U.S. tour dates in two years.

“I get like that at home, when there’s too much time off,” Jones told The Beat.

Jones said the same sentiment keeps the band from spending too much time in the studio as well.

“You’re trying to capture the chemistry and intensity of live and loud. It’s an elusive beast. So you just aim for not sounding like (everyone else).”

Which, Jones confessed, can be tricky, given that the Revue is a straight-up rock ’n’ roll band in the most traditional sense. Jones said a passion and reverence for that ’50s style of rock ’n’ roll inspired the formation of the Revue.

“You listen to early Little Richard records, and there’s all the DNA in there you need for hundreds of rock ’n’ roll bands,” he explained.

“It’s all well and good to have reverence, but a lot of people can look at that as a sort of pantomime or pastiche. That really isn’t the reference for us. When you commit to doing music like this, it’s a vow. We owe it to ourselves and the music to blow that spiritual element into it.”

Jones said artists such as Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and the MC5 are more than influences. He said it’s more like a timeline or a trail of bread crumbs that lead back to something.

“Carrying a torch? Yeah, I guess so. We’re not going to change the world by doing rock ’n’ roll music. But I wouldn’t want to do this any other way.”

The upcoming U.S. tour is in support of the band’s The Savage Heart, which is now nearly two years old. The band has since released a few singles, so The Beat asked if the Revue had any surprises in store for these U.S. shows.

“We have lots of new stuff,” Jones said. “It’s going to be great. But that’s not a surprise.”

The Jim Jones Revue will play Woodlands Backyard Friday, Jan. 10, part of a Crazy Mama’s/Bruce Nutt and Paul Bearer Production. The Hexers open. Tickets are $12/$15. Visit woodlandsbackyard.com.