Singled Out: DownTown Mystic's Brian Jones

Keavin Wiggins | 04-06-2024

Singled Out: DownTown Mystic's Brian Jones

DownTown Mystic recently released their hit album "Rock'n'Roll 4 The Soul" that has already scored 1.5 million streams. To celebrate we asked mastermind Robert Allen to tell us about the song "Brian Jones". Here is the story:

Brian Jones is a good example of the lengths I will go to get a great track. In case you don't know who Brian Jones is, he's the guy with the perfect blond hair who started The Rolling Stones. Mick & Keith joined HIS band. The phrase Sex, Drugs and RocknRoll could have been coined to describe Brian's lifestyle. He's considered to be the founding member of the unfortunate "27 Club". He was the first of the rock stars to die at the age of 27, soon to be followed by Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin. Kurt Kobain is also a member.

I wrote the song because I felt that Brian's name and legacy had been forgotten. He wasn't a choir boy, for sure, but I felt that he deserved some lost recognition. One day I was on my way to the studio to work on the track and I was trying to figure out how to approach it. Then I remembered that when my band was playing it with Garry Tallent (E Street Band bass player), he was modelling his bass part after Bill Wyman's bass on The Stones Paint It Black. I wasn't sure if it fit the song, but it was a very cool idea! Thinking about Garry's idea of using a particular Stone's song for the basis of a part sparked the light bulb to go off. Why not do the same kind of thing throughout the song?

When I got to the studio, I went to work, modelling the chorus on Gimme Shelter, with driving guitars and the way it breaks down with the drums. Then I had the thought to try the oohs from Sympathy For The Devil on the backing vocals. From there I added a piano part that's played to Brian's piano rhythm on Let's Spend The Night Together. All in all, I used 7 parts from Stones songs, including The Last Time, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Jumping Jack Flash and Satisfaction. But something was still missing for me. What was it?

One weekend I was invited to a friend's sister's birthday party. I got there late, and the party seemed to be winding down. I was sitting at a table in the backyard and one of her friends asked me if I could use a good harp player? As soon as she asked me, I knew I had the missing piece to Brian Jones! That's just the way my mind works. When I heard the word harp, I flashed back to the 1st time I saw The Stones on TV. Brian was wailing on his harmonica. That was it-the harmonica was the missing piece to this track!

I called the harp player and asked him if he would come to the studio to record something for me. His name was Jerry Fierro and as it turned out, he was a champion harp player, having won a few titles in competitions over the years! He showed up at the studio, set up and started to play. I realized that the harmonica should represent Brian in the song. I told Jerry to riff after every line, as if it was Brian responding. I coached him to create the intro part that gets repeated in the song and he's killer! When Jerry is done playing, I know I have the finishing piece I was missing.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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Singled Out: DownTown Mystic's Brian Jones

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