Mule Train

Sleepwalker's Jamal Ruhe vents his aggressive side with new band Yearofthemule

While in England, he also caught the attention of Roger Mayer, an innovator in the field of guitar effects. Mayer has promised to introduce his many contacts in the music business to Jones. In an October e-mail to Jones he wrote, "I feel sure it is only a matter of time and exposure to the right people before your career takes off in the way you deserve."

The response of Mayer and others has Jones hopeful that England may offer him the break that tirelessly working the Phoenix bar circuit has failed to provide.

"It's funny," says Jones, who'll be playing at Gibson's in Tempe on Friday, December 18. "I play seven nights a week here for seven years and in one week there things start happening."

Rare Air: DJ Essential is the first to admit that most people draw a blank when he talks about spinning "rare groove" music. Essential (known to his family as Rick Martinez) is probably best-known locally as a drum 'n' bass DJ, but rare groove is a special obsession for him. He defines the retro-dance genre as "everything from old James Brown to Donnie Hathaway to stuff on Blue Note; it's all the songs that you can't find on CD, forgotten gems from jazz, soul and funk." On Friday, December 18, at Higher Ground in Tempe, Martinez will man the turntables along with his friend DJ Pari, who'll be visiting after spending recent months touring Europe with James Brown. It'll be a rare chance to see these two together in the Valley.

--Gilbert Garcia

Contact Gilbert Garcia at his online address: ggarcia@newtimes.com

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