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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

Local Spins

"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."

At work: Desmond Jones


"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

Local Spins

"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

"Their catchy lyrics and melodic mix of folk and funk tunes left everyone cheering for an encore, which the band happily obliged too. They wrapped up their set with tracks “Good Song” and “Sylvia” then said good night."

- Perfect Harmony

Papadosio Announces Spring 2018 Tour With Aqueous and Desmond Jones

December 05, 2017

We will be joining Papadosio for a few of their shows this spring in Detroit and Grand Rapids!

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

"Listen to the interview above to hear samples from the new album; plus, Nowak and Bota talk about the challenges that come up when making music; and why Michigan is a special place to be a musician."

NPR, Michigan Radio, Stateside- Mercedes Mejia

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

Grateful Web Covers Desmond Jones

September 11, 2017

Grateful Web picked up the release of "Good Song"!

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."

Desmond Jones endorsed by GHS Strings

April 06, 2017

We are happy to announce that we have been officially endorsed by GHS Strings! We are excited to start our relationship with this awesome Michigan company. Check out their products and keep an eye out for them on stage at our shows!

Desmond Jones Announces East Coast Tour

March 13, 2017

Live For Live Music covered our East Coast and Beyond Tour announcement! Read it here.

Desmond Jones premieres video for ‘Taco Bell (In the Rain)'

January 12, 2017

Local Spins had the exclusive release for our most recent studio work and video for "Taco Bell (In the Rain)". Watch the video here and sing along.

Craziness, camaraderie, killer jams and heartbreak

December 18, 2016

In December we ended our 1+ year-long residency at the Tip Top in Grand Rapids. We sat down with Local Spins to talk about what the residency has meant to us, what our plans are for 2017, and why we wore sweatpants every week.

LCC Radio Artist Spotlight, October 2016

October 19, 2016

We are honored to be the featured Artist of October for LCC radio in Lansing! Check out this awesome article that features the band and gives some good insight to our roots and beginning years.

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

The music of Desmond Jones

March 14, 2016

We stopped by eightWest at WOOD TV 8 in Grand Rapids to perform two new songs called "More Days Like These" and "Song About George"! Check them out!

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

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