Young British blues guitarist and singer Laurence Jones will represent the UK in the 2015 European Blues Challenge in Brussels in March.
The 22-year-old rising blues star beat two other acts in the finals of a nationwide battle of the bands contest, to win the chance to fly to Brussels next year to take part in the European Blues challenge.
Bands from 28 different countries will slug it out to find the eventual European victors on 13th and 14th March 2015.
Laurence, from Stratford-on-Avon, was joined by band mates Roger Inniss on bass and Finnish drummer Miri Mieettinen at the UK final held at the Boom Boom club in Surrey.
Their incendiary set deeply impressed the panel of five VIP music industry judges, despite a tremendous effort from UK bands Henry’s Funeral Shoe and Red Butler.
2014 has been a heck of a year for Laurence. He flew to the USA to record his debut Ruf records release, “Temptation,” produced by Mike Zito, released to great critical acclaim in March. Blues & Soul magazine said the album would “scoop awards and put Laurence Jones firmly on the map.”
Laurence has spent most of the year on the road touring the UK, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Ireland - in his own right and as part of the Ruf Records Blues Caravan tour.
The Sunday Express newspaper ran a double-page spread feature on him just after he won the coveted “Young Artist Of The Year” award at the 2014 British Blues Awards presentation ceremony, held at the Great British R n B Festival in Colne, Lancashire in August.
His mentor US blues star Walter Trout says: “Laurence is a cross between Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy.” Classic Rock Blues magazine called him, “The future of the blues.” BBC Radio 2 listeners heard him labelled: “...like a young Robin Trower - exciting and full of energy.”
Laurence has been played on Radio Two’s Paul Jones Blues programme and the Alex Lester show. This October and November he made many new friends when he toured with Kenny Wayne Shepherd. After inviting Laurence up on stage to jam with him, the US blues star said: “Laurence Jones sure has the blues in his soul.”
After winning the European Blues Challenge UK final, Laurence said: “I am delighted and humbled that the judges felt my band is worthy enough to represent the UK in Brussels next year.
“It really is an honour and we will do our very best to do this country proud. It would be great to have a bunch of British blues fans over there, to give us support. It should be a wonderful experience.”
Before then, Laurence will be back in the studio to begin recording his next album, which will feature a couple of “name” special guests. His diary for 2015 is pretty much full already with tours and festivals in many countries - his own headline shows, also opening for acts such as King King.