The Bogart Jones Band, 14th & Willow, New Artist Feature

The Bogart Jones Band

By Martine Ehrenclou

The Bogart Jones Band, from Central Illinois, is the first out of about 30 music submissions to be featured by Rock and Blues Muse. With a blend of rock and soul, blues and southern funk, this band caught our attention immediately.

After hearing the first song on their new album, 14th & Willow, I grabbed my headphones to listen to the nuances of this talented, musical, and oh-so-tight band. From their soulful blues-rock vocals, catchy rhythms and slamming slide guitar riffs, The Bogart Jones Band is the band to watch in 2017.

Wes Simmons, lead vocalist and bassist, heads the group along with guitarist and producer, Ryan Rose, and drummer, Tim Fiers. Simmons writes the lyrics and the band collaborates on the music. You can hear it in their sound. It’s about the band as a unit, not just about a great guitar player, a great vocalist, a jam-packed drummer, or a keyboard player with tasty chops, which The Bogart Jones Band definitely has. With Don Mabus also on guitar and vocals, Curt Caudill on keys and vocals, and Ty Bailey on percussion, this band has a sound all their own.

This is fun music with heart. With funky grooves, excellent musicianship, and lyrics that smack of authenticity, The Bogart Jones Band produces feel-good music while still telling meaningful stories with their songs. They coin their music as, “New music with old soul.”

There are a couple of surprises with The Bogart Jones Band. They’ve only been playing together for a couple of years, something you might not expect when listening to tracks such as, “Shuffle On,” or “Get Back There.” In addition, Ryan Rose did all the production in his home studio. I wouldn’t have guessed that when listening to the almost seamless production of their album. What might account for some of the professional quality is that Simmons and Rose have been working together for years in various bands and also collaborated with legendary REO Speedwagon guitarist, Gary Richrath, until his untimely passing. But it’s probably more than that—perhaps a true commitment to the music.

The opening track, “Hello the Highway” might be my favorite on the album. Kicking off with slick guitar licks and slide guitar, it sheds hints of Little Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd or maybe The Doobie Brothers—but with a contemporary twist. Simmons’ vocals are soulful; he digs deep on the tunes that call for it, and there is a definite richness to his tone.


“Slightly Burnt” is a hard driving ballad sure to please any classic rock fan. It tells the story of running into an old friend after a ten-year absence and questioning life’s purpose.

“I get a little burned out
On the tired hippy token
I’m not really growing old
I’m just slightly burnt, still smoking

I seem to loose the days some times, you know
And I can’t explain it
Mid life, Christ, I don’t believe it.
Content to while the time my friend
Finding meanings to the end
And yet to find the reason I’m still here.”

Speaking of smoking, the guitar solo on this song just rips.

“Get Back” is another catchy, fun track, one you might listen to with a car full of friends, heads nodding to the beat. This is a feel-good, party tune that opens with that ear-catching slide guitar and then glides into a danceable beat. The drumming is tight and precise with a lot of kick.

I have to mention the band’s harmonies, which grace a number of their tunes. Because their harmonies are so in sync, I watched a couple of their live performances to see if they matched the album. They sure did–on key and in unison.

In the beginning of 2016, The Bogart Jones Band opened for Legendary Southern Rockers, 38 Special and won the “Road to Summer Camp” competition and earned main stage performance at Summer Camp 2016. Tack that on to performing at other big festivals headlined by Willie Nelson and Kid Rock, Molly Hatchet, Vince Neil (Motly Crue) and opening for Los Lobos, Samantha Fish, and Blues Traveler.

With the exception of the last track on 14th & Willow, I love all of their songs. “My Angel the Devil and Me” doesn’t seem up to par with the rest of their tunes, as its change in tempo didn’t quite work for me. It’s much more country than the others and I’ll admit I’m not a true country music fan. But let’s be honest, eleven out of twelve great tunes on any album is impressive, especially for a relatively new band that’s hitting its stride.

Expect to hear a lot more from The Bogart Jones Band. They are clearly on their way.

For more information on The Bogart Jones Band and their album, 14th & Willow:



Tour Schedule: 






By |2018-01-29T10:14:59+00:00January 13th, 2017|Album & Single Reviews|14 Comments


  1. Curt Caudill January 13, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Thank you Martine and Rock and Blues Muse for the incredible review and feature of The Bogart Jones Band and our release 14th & Willow! We Hope to play a show near you soon!

    • Martine Ehrenclou January 13, 2017 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      You’re so welcome! I hope you play Los Angeles too. Please let me know when you do!

  2. Billy January 14, 2017 at 1:27 am - Reply

    We at Rock93X search through many bands to find a great unique rhythmic blend of rock and soulful blues and The Bogart Jones Band comes in at number one in a genre of its own. Our listeners request the bands songs, and they are ready to hear what the band puts out in the future. This band has a home on We wish them all the success possible, and we know they will keep it real, and keep it rockin.

    • Martine Ehrenclou January 14, 2017 at 3:14 am - Reply

      Thanks for your comment. I completely agree with you about The Bogart Jones Band. In a genre of their own and simply outstanding. I can imagine you have many listeners who request their songs. Wonderful that the band has a home on Rock93X I wish we could hear your station in Los Angeles! Is there a way ? Internet maybe?
      We wish the band the best success. We know they will have much more of it!

    • The Bogart Jones Band January 14, 2017 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      Thank you Rock93X for your kind words and consistent support! You folks have been incredibly gracious to The Bogart Jones Band! Your support and airplay has been a huge uplift for our band and we hope to meet you someday when we play a show in your area!

  3. D. Rodney January 14, 2017 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the review! Lots of love and respect for this incredible home grown band! A local treasure – but we are willing to share!

    • Martine Ehrenclou January 14, 2017 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment. We share your love and respect for this band. Thanks for sharing!

  4. N Viano January 19, 2017 at 5:22 am - Reply

    They are a Rocket ship full of fuel traveling through the Cosmos reaching higher and higher and higher……..D Rodney said it best !

    • Martine Ehrenclou January 19, 2017 at 5:32 am - Reply

      They sure are. They deserve a lot of success and I believe they’ll get it. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Mike February 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I am one of the DJ’s at and Martine you had asked where you can hear us. You can just tune into our website since we are an online radio station. Reason for this reply though is because my show is about gritty blues and southern rock from new bands and The Bogart Jones band fits right in. Love the whole CD. I love finding new southern rock artists. They are out there if you look.

    Cowboy’s Juke Joint
    Sundays 9pm est.

    • Martine Ehrenclou February 12, 2017 at 2:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment and for the info bout how to listen to your station. I will definitely be tuning in to listen. 9m your time would be 7pm PST.
      We love The Bogart Jones Band new CD too. E keep supporting them ‘ cause we think they’re so good.

  6. Rockin' Billy June 28, 2017 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Excellent writeup Martine. Someone should do a feature on how awesome you do your coverage on bands! I just saw the Bogart Jones Band for the first time and they knocked me out! Your descriptions nailed it! Thanks for all you do. Rockin’ Billy

    • Martine Ehrenclou June 28, 2017 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      That’s so nice of you to say. Thank you.

      The Bogart Jones Band must have been fantastic live! I really want to see them.
      Thanks for your comment.

    • The Bogart Jones Band September 21, 2017 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rockin Billy!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.