The Jon Spear Band performs original music reflecting a wide range of styles including blues, funk, rock, R&B, swing, and even a little salsa. The band’s new CD “Old Soul” showcases their songwriting and musical talents, combining intriguing lyrics with creative musicianship to produce a unique and memorable CD. Six of the album’s tracks feature singer/guitarist Dara James, an impressive young talent whose soulful vocals and fiery guitar solos are a large part of the band’s unique sound. The work of award-winning singer-songwriter/guitarist Jon Spear is also much in evidence on this CD which includes 9 original songs. Bassist Andy Burdetsky and drummer John Stubblefield provide a solid rhythm section as well as some standout solos.
The Jon Spear Band is a collaboration of some of Central Virginia’s finest and most dedicated blues musicians, brought together by their love of blues music and their active participation in the Central Virginia Blues Society. Although their ages span several generations, the band’s members share a common determination to use their exceptional talents to create unique and memorable music. The Jon Spear Band has existed with various personnel changes since 2012.
"Not many groups can boast two virtuoso guitarists as The Jon Spear Band does and few can match the writing skill of [Jon]Spear and [Dara] James. The songs are great and cover a lot of ground but l feel that this is the attraction to the band and would have a very loyal following.....They will be well received by our listeners and l for one am very proud to put it to air" -- Peter Merrett, PBS 106.7, Melbourne
“It's not easy to write lyrics that are of this quality... These songs take you places. You can relate to them. Entertaining, and very enjoyable.... I listened to them numerous times and they continued to grow on me! It's also refreshing to hear a unique sound and style....” -- Dave 'BluzNdaBlood' Harrison http://bluzndablood.com
“The band plays a country-soul-blues fusion with clean sound and natural vocals that connect with listeners. They are tightly in sync on this grouping of nine originals and a solid performance of Bob Geddins’ “Tin Pan Alley”. The lyrics are a high point of the original songs: good narratives and wit, for example ‘It’s the early bird that gets the worm, but the SECOND mouse gets the cheese.’ Mostly these are tales of a guy who’s been down in the swamp with witches, reincarnations, even the Devil himself… and he’s got stories to tell! ” – David Eisenman and Dave Rogers (AKA Professor Bepob) WTJU-FM, Charlottesville,VA
“The Jon Spear Band hails from the Shenandoah Valley but they have managed to keep their feet deep in the blues. Their latest release, Old Soul, has music that covers the landscape with class and tight original compositions. From upbeat to slow blues, this CD will have you dancing, or at a minimum, tapping your feet.” – Greg Versen (AKA the Professah) WMRA, Harrisonburg, VA
Members of the Jon Spear band are:
Dara James -- an amazing young talent with outstanding vocal, guitar and harmonica skills far beyond his years. Dara's grandfather gave him his first harmonica when he was about 5 and he joined his first band with his father – Upland Express – at the age of 11, and stayed with them for 10 years playing regularly around central Virginia. He started playing guitar in the band when he was 14. Since then Dara has pursued a number of solo, band and recording projects.
Jon Spear – guitar, vocals, and songwriting. Jon doesn't admit how long he's been performing but here's a hint: Jon was in a band that opened for the Isley Brothers at the Capital Theatre in Port Chester NY when Twist and Shout was top-40 hit. Since then, Jon has played with numerous bands from New York on down through DC and Virginia, playing a wide range of styles including swing, rockabilly, classic rock and blues.
Bassist Andy Burdetsky has been playing bass for over 35 years. Andy was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area where he was influenced by such great musicians as the Nighthawks, Danny Gatton and Charlie Byrd. Andy has shared the stage and/or sat in with such musical greats as Koko Taylor, NRBQ, Skip Castro, Roy Buchanan, Nils Lofgren and Stephen Stills.a
Drummer John Stubblefield started playing drums around the time the Beatles made their US debut. His Dad owned radio stations and he grew up loving all styles of music. In college he played with The Charlottesville Blues Allstars (later called just The Allstars). During those years he opened often for the Nighthawks playing clubs in Virginia and DC. In addition to the Jon Spear Band, John has been building drums for 10 years and has drummers throughout the region gigging and recording with his custom drums.