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So Cal Pt I: Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos
By Keavin Wiggins

We have a long history of showcasing standout indie artists, but with this special we take it one step further and showcase standout indie artists that are making it happen on their own. The three artists that will be featured in this special in the coming weeks, Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos, Twelvehourmary and Roxy Saint,  not only do they all hail from Southern California but have by-passed the usual rules of the music business to find success on their own terms.  As the industry becomes more and more cookie-cutter it is becoming more difficult to find artists that not only standout from the pack but also may be the leaders of a new movement in music.  The three artists featured here do not buy into conventional music business practices; neither do they pander to the current trends. That makes it more difficult to succeed, but despite the odds against them, they are all finding a measure of success on their own terms with their personal and musical integrity intact. The antiMusic Network salutes such artists, as they are keeping the real spirit of rock and roll alive, and we are proud to present these three standout artists that making are their own way, but more importantly offer music above and beyond the bland major label fodder we are used to. 

While the goal for most DIY bands is to get their music out on their own and not wait for that "record deal", the record deal is usually the ultimate goal. And when an artist takes it upon themselves to go the DIY route with a self-release and succeed, it actually makes it easier for a label to see the wisdom of signing them. That is usually when labels will take a chance on a band that doesn't fit nicely into a little "current trend" box.  We here at the antiMusic Network wish the artists featured here nothing but success, whether it is a total DIY affair or they ultimately use their DIY skills to land a deal.  

The three artists featured in this series all cover different areas of rock. We kick off with Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos, representing the soul of real hard rock!  In a couple weeks, we will bring you the next band in this series, Twelvehourmary and then Roxy Saint.   Right now, get ready for some double-barrel rock n roll from the Halos!  

Hard Rock: Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos  

Straight out of Hell comes a band that rocks so hard Satan is afraid of them, so he sent them to earth to corrupt the youth and to keep the burning souls in the 9th circle from rocking out and having a good time. Sort of a reversal of Paradise Lost, but hell's loss is our gain as Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos have unleashed their incendiary rock n roll on the masses with their brand new CD.  

Sorry for the hyperbole but damned if the Suffering Halos don't elicit that kind of response and make me want to be a demonic evangelist shouting from the rooftops that "ROCK LIVES ON!"  The Halos take most of the elements that made heavy rock a keystone to popular music since Ozzy growled out "Paranoid", Plant bellowed "Valhalla…" and Hendrix made the guitar an instrument of mesmerizing possibilities.  If their sound is primarily old-school that's because Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos understand what put hard rock on the map. But don't think for a moment that they are a throwback to an earlier era, they in fact bring the righteous heavy rock sounds of the past into the 21st century. 

The Suffering Halos have earned an honored spot in the southern California music scene over the past few years for good reason. Not only do rock fans flock to their shows, but the hardest critics of all, fellow musicians, have nothing but respect for Johnny Jones; that's how the current incarnation of the band came about.  Frontman Johnny Jones and drummer Billy Blaze were joined by former Wonderlove axeman and heir to the Hendrix throne, Brian McIntyre, along with one of the most respected bassist to hit the scene in a longtime, Greg Coates of Lowfive. Together they have created an album that is a testament to not only the Suffering Halos talent but also to what made us fall in love with hard rock in the first place.  With well-crafted songs and exceptional musicianship, Johnny Jones and his cohorts take us on a ruckus musical journey that at some points have us throwing devil horns in the air and at others lighting a little something and letting the sound envelope us in its irresistible grasp. 

Johnny Jones had to overcome quite a few hurdles to make this album happen, broken collarbones, line-up changes and more, but the fans waited patiently. When the unholy moment arrived for its release, the demand was so strong that the first pressing was an immediate sellout. Not bad for some devil boys from Long Beach that decided they didn't want to screw with the label system and put this album out on their own.  But it was a testament to the quality of the music. No slick advertising campaign was needed to get the word out; the buzz on the street among the fans was all it took. Now the labels are sniffing around, so a deal on better terms is a real possibility. That's the smart thing about the DIY route. 

If you haven't been corrupted by Johnny Jones and Suffering Halos then you are missing out on one big bowl of rock n roll from one of the few bands that are keeping hard rock a vital part of the music scene.  Double devil horns raised high for the Halos! 

Johnny Jones and the Suffering Halos 

Visit the Official website. - Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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