Kelly Love Jones

French Quarter Festival

April 18, 2004

"That was really good."

The words of an audience member behind me after Kelly Love Jones finished her performance on Royal Street at The French Quarter Fest Sunday afternoon.

And it was really good. Hopefully, Jones isn't a buried treasure in New Orleans. Her raw music deserves the popularity of such "where did they come from" artists as Norah Jones and Avril Lavigne. Jones was backed by saxophonist Samir Sarif, bassist Edwin Livingston, a drummer and guitarist.

Jones took it to the crowd hard with neo-soul poetic slow grooves and hook-laced aggressive hip-hop numbers. On her soul songs, she opened up her spirit so easily that it was hard not to relate and enjoy the music. Her earnest, beautiful voice and Latin-tinged guitar tones hushed the crowd and drew them in.

Excuse my language, but her song "Love Jones" was some bad-ass shit. The rolling hip-hop song would only be good backed by a drum machine, but with a full band it's undeniably powerful. People started pulling out their best hard-ass rapper impressions by throwing their arms around. Jones' rhymes were hot, and the rollicking song breaks increased the song's testosterone level. I can see The Roots covering this song.

Jones was a great show-woman. During one song, she jumped onto the pavement and began dancing with the audience members. Her family's support during the concert added a positive feeling to the proceedings.

Her band was tight, she was tight. What are you waiting for? Go to her website and buy a CD.

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