Rockabilly Band Tears It Up

Jinx Jones and his All Stars perform in a low key German restaurant that turns into a honky tonk as the evening progresses. Photo by Dave Weinstein

Having trouble finding a good rockabilly band? It’s a common problem. Consider then the Jinx Jones Jazz-a-Billy All Stars.

On a recent Friday evening at Speisekammer Restaurant in Alameda, where the band plays monthly, the leader’s dexterous, fired-up guitar work got a handful of folks dancing during the opening set, though there is no real dance floor at this super friendly spot just off Park Street.

The band played Johnny Burnette, “Suspicious Minds,” some honky-tonk, a little surf, a fair bit of jazz.

“Actually the crowd gets a little more loose for the second set,” Jones says, “and it is not uncommon for them to clear some tables out of the way to dance.”

Spiesekammer is known for its filling, well prepared platters of bratwurstchen, pommes mit 3 sossen, sauerbrauten, and a wide selection of beers on tap.

Jinx Jones in action. Photo by Bob Hakins

Jinx Jones is a hardworking musician throughout the Bay Area, and his Jazz-a-Billy All Stars are just one of the aggregations with which he appears. Others include the Bachelors, the Jinx Jones Jazz Trio, and Jinx Jones and the King Tones. His latest recording is ‘Rip and Run.’

The All Stars play Spiesekammer the third Friday of every month.

Jones, who got his start in Denver, played for years with Chuck Berry, Roy Buchanan, and with the soul divas En Vogue. He’s a pleasant singer, almost too much the crooner, but it is his guitar work that really sings. And the jazz-a-billy bit is no joke. This is a real jazz band, with Kurt Ribak, a tall cowboy, slapping the upright bass, and Ken Owen manning a compact drum set that includes bongos.

Keep in touch with the Eichler Network. SUBSCRIBE to our free e-newsletter