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Tracy Jones

Tracy Jones with Mack Amps

Tracy Jones is a 21st Century Sonic Renaissance Man. A Toronto-based guitarist, singer-songwriter, recording artist and unabashed tone junkie, he is constantly on the hunt for tools to deliver what his ear is listening for across the vast palate of musical styles he plays. Here’s what he says about where it all started:
“I grew up in a musical family with two much older brothers who were constantly spinning incredible music in our basement rec room. I was raised on a steady diet of Stax R&B: Booker T, Otis Reading, Sam & Dave - all that Steve Cropper grit and genius. One brother played bass, the other guitar. They were my first heroes and I wanted to be like them; I think I’ve had a guitar in my hands since I was something like 4 years old. Somewhere around my 14th birthday my oldest brother Dave walked up to me and handed me his ’65 Telecaster. He said “you’re better than me now, consider this a permanent loan.” I still play that guitar today.”
Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Ace Frehley and Jimmy Page were among Tracy’s early influences. “I loved how Pete played the guitar like a machine gun. So percussive and explosive!” In college, he met some like minded musicians and formed a power-funk-pop band called Tall New Buildings, blending heavy rock guitar sounds with drum machines and synths. They received solid acclaim, becoming a fixture on Indie radio and on TV - Much Music, The New Music, Musique Plus and Toronto Rocks. They were nominated for Juno and Casby awards for two top 20 dance chart singles in Canada and were named as one of the artist names to watch by the Toronto Star.
After years of working in commercial creation and production, Tracy went on to write and record for several Canadian artists, including co-writing, recording and performing the acclaimed album “Picture This” by Andrea Florian. He was also called on for session writing and playing for several up and coming indie artist releases including Shawn Sage and Brianne Swan.
Tracy Jones album
Tracy’s style isn’t limited to the rock genre. Elements of Nile Rodgers and Parliament Funkadelic routinely creep into his playing, adding a signature groove to the vibe that likely traces back to his R&B upbringing. For over 10 years, Tracy seamlessly blended funk, soul, blues and swing as the lead guitar player in the band Blueshound. Today, he’s a regular fixture in the Toronto live music scene, playing with the 12-piece funk soul ensemble Community Soul Project, which he is a founding member of.  
In 2011, Tracy released his first album of original songs, called Once Around. He performed most of the tracks himself as well as engineering and mixing. Reviewer comments included: “Once Around strikes me as a latter Lindsey Buckingham solo record fused with a Wilco feel. Echoes of Keith Richards’ Main Offender…and Ryan Adams. It feels like a very personal record and really shows off his chops.”
Tracy Jones with Dagmar Guitar
Tracy Jones with Dagmar Guitar
In 2014, Tracy saw his hunt for tone profiled in Guitar Player Magazine’s “Dig My Rig” feature. “I laughed when I saw the shot of my rig. In the six months since that shot about 3/4 of the gear has been swapped out!”
The one thing that is now a constant in Tracy’s tone puzzle is his Mack Amps Skyraider, with a 12” Celestion Greenback in the cabinet - although he is known to borrow a second cabinet and a signature David Barrett Atomsmasher DB40 for that extra kick on the festival stage.