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The Jony James Band

Who?: Jony James, guitar and vocals; Mike "Wags" Wagner, 7-string bass; Kent "Boom Boom" Leech, drums and vocals.

What?: Killer in-your-face electric blues, centered around the renowned virtuosity of James' guitar playing, and bolstered considerably by the seemingly telepathic interplay of rhythm section partners Wagner and Leech, fantastic players.

Why?: If you were in the crowd of 30,000 when ZZ Top played Artpark recently, then you know that the JJB can work a crowd -- even a crowd that is not its own -- into sweaty submission. These guys brought it, big time. James has been doing the same for years, whether the venue is the intimate Tudor Lounge or one of the region's vast open-air stages. Modern electric blues can be trite, overtly formulaic, frankly boring. The JJB is the antidote to that tendency.

What's next?: More gigs, naturally. Among them: 9:30 tonight in the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery (76 Pearl St.); 9:30 p.m. Saturday in Riley Street Station (27 Riley St., East Aurora) and 6:30 p.m. Monday in Rhino's Union Pub (2939 Union Road, West Seneca). Plus, the band has regular weekly gigs at 7:30 p.m. Sundays and 9:30 p.m. Thursdays in the Tudor Lounge (335 Franklin St.) and 9:45 p.m. Wednesdays in the Four Aces Bar & Grill (3314 Lakeshore Road, Blasdell).

Check out: www.jonyjamesbluesband.com

-- Jeff Miers

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