Desmond Jones: Returning to the Spotlight, Shooting for the Stars
Revue West MI
"Over their decade together the band has played over 800 shows, taken part in events like Founders Fest, Meijer Gardens Tuesday Evening Music Club, ArtPrize, WYCE’s Jammies, Festival of the Arts and more, while even seeing some of their fans go on to form bands of their own."
Desmond Jones "Why Not?" Album Review
"Everything on “Why Not?” — the latest release from Grand Rapids-based jam band Desmond Jones — follows a seamless thematic thread. From the ’50s Wild West comic-style album cover to the loosely harmonic, soul-laden choruses and quirky solos, “Why Not?” puts its chips on the table and walks away with success."
"After issuing two genre-blending LPs and two equally eclectic EPs, the members of Desmond Jones decided to consolidate their scope. On their latest full-length effort, Why Not? A Sensational Midwestern Jamboree, the Michigan quintet gathers together a concerted collection of 16 “countryadjacent” songs."
Desmond Jones, Rays of Light and Stardust album review
"At many points, “Rays of Light and Stardust” feels almost otherworldly — and appropriately so, given its theme. It’s a feeling best encapsulated by the album’s opening and closing songs. Opener and first single “Poor Sylvester” is a bold anthem that almost echoes the Decemberists’ “The Hazards of Love” in its fairytale-esque quality. The album ends with the likewise unearthly “Shadow of Venus,” a masterful demonstration of Desmond Jones’ versatility."
"Hello, Helou" album review by The Stratton Setlist
September 26, 2019
Another “Hello, Helou” album favorite is “Instructional Dance Song,” a brief emotional track featuring sparse guitars and delicate vocals. Clocking in at almost three minutes, the Falk-penned song leaves as lasting imprint on the heart and mind: “And there are so many tomorrows/Each one as bleak as the last/Seventeen terrible secrets/I am weightless/You’re the last.”
"Hello, Helou" album review by 9 to 5 Magazine
August 06, 2019
Upon unsheathing the gold-framed LP, one is immediately struck with the pop hit “Sylvia.” Written by guitarist Isaac Berkowitz, the song is filled with space imagery because the song centers around the protagonist’s searching for Sylvia who has fallen through a wormhole. I find myself sympathetically singing along with the rhyming lines: “falling through the curtains of space-time and all that stuff, / well I can’t imagine what you’re going through it must be tough.” It has a catchy Springsteen-type vibe with xylophone and bells highlighting the chorus. George Falk solidifies the track as a hit with his aching sax solo.
"Hello, Helou" album review by Local Spins
August 07, 2019
Overall, band members have created a record that is uniquely their own. “Hello, Helou” is an enjoyable, light-hearted album. It has some truly unique combinations of instrumentation, plenty of carefully composed instrumentals, and a curious playfulness. Roll down the windows and go for a drive; ride a bike through the bustling city; take an evening afterglow stroll, all while letting Desmond Jones take you on a parallel journey. – Ricky Olmos
Best of the West 2019 // Staff Pick Best Original Band
July 26, 2019
Fresh off a triumphant debut performance at this year’s Electric Forest Festival — and ahead of a huge show celebrating the vinyl release of a second full-length album (Aug. 24 at Elevation inside The Intersection) — GR jam band Desmond Jones is ready to make a lasting name for itself in the local music scene. From rock to jazz to funk to country and more, the group continues to master its already impressive live chops, while delighting a variety of new audiences all around town. Building a loyal fan base, with residencies at places like the Tip Top and tour treks around the state and the country, there’s no telling where they’ll go next. — Eric Mitts
Single Review: Desmond Jones Releases New Track “Split Again” from their Unreleased Album Hello, Helou
June 04, 2019
"The first track “Still Creatures” was a funky little song with some David Bowie sass, but “Split Again” changes it up with a more raw and personal sound. It’s got a country rhythm to it that makes you bob your head and tap your knee as you sing along to the harmonized lyrics “Well, I just can’t seem to find myself…on time, this time.” There’s even a nice little southern-fried electric guitar solo for your listening pleasure, and of course the saxophone remains present."
- The Jamwich, Elise Olmstead
Desmond Jones on WDET April Favorites
April 19, 2019
For over 15 years, Milo has covered Detroit’s ever-evolving music scene like no other journalist has with his writing regularly appearing in the Detroit Free Press and MetroTimes as well as his own long-running Deep Cutz blog.
With April in full swing, Milo compiled a list of his favorite songs released this month from Detroit and Michigan-based musicians.
Desmond Jones Gets Philosophical on Funky New Single from Upcoming ‘Hello, Helou’ Album
April 14, 2019
“There’s a lot of trivial nonsense that we let get in the way of living happy and meaningful lives. When that nonsense piles up on us, it can be hard to see through it to what really matters. Some people like to look at the stars and feel small as a way to get perspective, and in the same sense, I think remembering the idea that we are all animals, or that we are all ‘still creatures’ on this planet just trying to survive, can give us that same perspective and peace of mind.”
- The Stratton Setlist
Desmond Jones Is Back! Check Out Their New Single "Still Creatures"
March 29, 2019
"This new track, “Still Creatures”, is a fantastic example of what the band has been creating. It starts right in all jazzy and smooth with their brand of funky kick. The sax intro is pure cool and the groove that follows with its plucky flavors is infectious. It's really good! The vocals are on point, and the drum/bass/guitar combo is on fire. These guys have perfected their own brand of familiar sound and it's intricately put together. It’s got that funk jam fusion fun factor down, and creates a very danceable sound that will prevent any effort you might put forth in standing still. Don’t fight it. Just go with that groove. If this song is any indication of where Desmond Jones is going with their sound, I think everyone should be eagerly awaiting this release this summer."
- Amanda Morcazo, A Perfect Mess
Desmond Jones Promises Unique Set for Headlining Show at The Blind Pig
December 12, 2018
Desmond Jones is currently writing and recording songs for their second studio album, which will feature more of a country and Americana folk sound compared to their previous efforts. With each album, the band becomes more comfortable recording and experimenting with an eclectic mix of tempo changes, time signatures and instrumentations in the studio.
-Lori Stratton, The Stratton Setlist
Life goes on for Desmond Jones
October 11, 2018
"Even if the music is becoming harder to define, the popularity of the band isn’t. The band’s growing reputation for live shows led to gigs at some notable events this summer, such as Founders Fest and the Cowpie Music Festival. That momentum seems to be carrying Desmond Jones into the fall as well."
Jeremy Bonfiglio, The Herald-Palladium
Desmond Jones Exclusive Interview with The Jamwich
September 13, 2018
"Our biggest challenge as a band has been, and always will be, deciding on which fast food restaurant and/or diner we will be spending all of our money at. Unfortunately overcoming these issues has been rather difficult, and is something we are constantly struggling with. It’s just that how can you ever really decide, you know? Subway or Taco Bell? Wendy’s fries or McDonald’s fries? The Reuben or the Club? But, we are overcoming these issues by turning every meal into a publicly displayed eating battle that takes place on the Desmond Jones snapchat feed we like to call, Smash or Save™ which allows for us to get our frustration out on the playing field so we can focus on the music."
Desmond Jones jams its way to bigger events, bigger crowds
April 26, 2020
"Fresh off of its biggest weekend to date — opening for Papadosio at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit and christening the stage at The Intersection’s brand new room, Elevation, in front of a capacity crowd — it was just announced earlier this week that the band will take the stage at this year’s much-ballyhooed Founders Fest, playing alongside the likes of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Anitbalas and others. Desmond Jones is one of only two local bands playing the June 16 festival, joining Founders’ own FBC All-Stars."
Ryan Boldrey , Local Spins
Show Review: Desmond Jones and The Hacky Turtles SOLD OUT show at Tonic Room in Chicago
January 12, 2018
A Perfect Mess Radio, Album Review
November 21, 2017
"This is a band of gentlemen well versed in their individual instruments and able to write the perfect earworm song. The album is a blending of sophisticated jazz and mid-90's lighthearted rock tossed in a blender with some funk and jam mentality. Pour it in a glass, garnish it with a dash of "stop taking yourself so seriously" and you have Desmond Jones. It's refreshing. It's wonderful. I'm addicted."
A Perfect Mess Radio
Appalachian Jamwich Album Review
October 09, 2017
"Desmond Jones are a talented bunch who rather than stay inside the protective circle of a comfortable vibe, they are not at all afraid to take chances with their sound. It’s something like a Zappa/The Band love child with strong Jazz and Funk flavor. The heavy sax presence interwoven through steady percussion, tasty bass groove and guitar leads creates a colorful palate for quirky lyrics and fun harmonies. This album is fantastic."
Amanda Marcazo, Appalachian Jamwich
Debut album from Grand Rapids’ Desmond Jones showcases eclectic musical diversity
October 04, 2017
Rising GR jam band Desmond Jones honors mimes with music
September 29, 2017
"With more than 65 original songs in its repertoire, Desmond Jones is just getting started. And after the album is released this month, the band plans to head out to the East Coast in November before returning for more shows in Michigan and ending the year with yet another New Year’s Eve party at the Tip Top."
Revue West Michigan Magazine, Eric Mitts
Desmond Jones Releases Single, "Good Song" (Music Creates Us)
September 08, 2017
"“Good Song” is a light-hearted, readily suitable song for commercials and ads, and of course – your stereo. It’s road trip-ready for a nice drive. The single is the epitome of a good song–a catchy, easily sing-able chorus, the perfect balance of contemporary sounds mixed with classic brass horns, and an upbeat poppy backbeat."
Rob Compa (Dopapod) Sits In With Desmond Jones
June 21, 2016
"As part of their summer tour, Desmond Jones recently opened for another one of our favorite bands, Dopapod. During Desmond Jones' performance, Dopapod guitarist, Rob Compa, sat in with Desmond Jones to form what is now known as DopaJones and performed a groovy solo filled, call and response, straight funk nasty rendition of Desmond Jones' "Hot Hamm.""
From: Sound & Silence
Desmond Jones, Giving Jam-Bands a Good Name
March 08, 2016
"If you’ve listened to some classic Wes Montgomery jazz, you might perceive the more and explorative phrasings of guitar, bass and drums to be, well, noodling. Desmond Jones may jam, per se, but it’s more a rock-n-roll-tinged clinic on myriad genres, from jazz to blues, funk to samba, indie-pop to soul, and back around again."
From: Ann Arbor Current Magazine
Desmond Jones making splash and stirring fun with genre-melding, jam-band charm
September 26, 2015
"Moving recently from East Lansing to Grand Rapids to take advantage of the city’s “super exciting” music and art scene, the band Desmond Jones has wasted little time adjusting to its new surroundings and making an impact.
The jam band has set up residency every Monday night at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill on the city’s West Side, playing three or four hours at a clip, weaving an intoxicating blend of rock, jazz and funk while inviting musical guests and friends to join the five-piece band on stage."
From: Local Spins
Local band Desmond Jones kicks off countrywide tour
January 20, 2016
"Local band Desmond Jones is well known among the Greater Lansing music scene. Starting next month however, the five-person band is hoping to achieve popularity on a larger scale.
Desmond Jones, a band formed mostly by recent MSU alumni, is accustomed to playing local shows in Lansing and the surrounding area, but are now taking their distinctive rock-jazz-funk style out west. The band has shows lined up in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois."
From: The State News