Thursday, May 30 2024

Welcome to the TIG and an insightful conversation with Tano Jones, the driving force behind The Tano Jones Revelryand their latest album, ‘Spinning North.’ Hailing from the vibrant musical landscape of Detroit, Tano’s journey and musical evolution of this eclectic blend of rock, blues, soul, Americana, and R&B offer a glimpse into his personal journey and the collaborative spirit that shaped this remarkable album.

Having listened a few times now to the album, I’ve found ‘Spinning North’ by The Tano Jones Revelry a soulful journey through the highs and lows of life, wrapped in an electrifying blend of rock, country rock, soul, and Americana. It’s an album that speaks to the core of our shared experiences over the last few years, but even moving beyond that, it stands as a reminder that during the toughest of challenges, tomorrow always offers a brand new day.

Let’s dig deeper and find out more…


THANKS FOR JOINING US AND CONGRATULATIONS ON THE NEW ALBUM!
 CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS OF CREATING ‘SPINNING NORTH’ AND HOW IT REFLECTS YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY AND MUSICAL GROWTH?

Thanks so much and good to be with you.

The creation of ‘Spinning North’ was an exercise in both personal as well as artistic perseverance and resilience. The writing and recording took place over a time period before and during the Covid pandemic. It was a wild time, to say the least, for all of us.

Before Covid the writing and recording process was very linear. By this I mean I wrote a song and then went and recorded it. There would be revisions to lyrics and bridge sections to some degree but the work flow was smooth and brisk. When Covid began to effect things in America, like the UK and the rest of the world, it was extremely disruptive. My work flow of writing and recording slowed considerably.

Also, I didn’t realise it at the time, but now I can see also that my lyrics and messaging was altered by this disturbing time in history. I remember thinking that my themes and lyrics during covid were different than were things when I stated the project. Looking back as a writer, I persevered, and the discipline of working in my studio each day, was actually a sort of beacon for me during that crazy tempest.

I remember feeling like a boxer. When I was home I was fighting through everything to help my three boys, wife (and three dogs) as we all waded through the mental, physical and emotional morass of being “Locked Down.” Sleep was very short and intermittent each night. I recall that when I would sit at my writers table each morning in my studio, I had that feeling of a boxer sitting on his stool in his corner, collecting myself after being battered in the previous round, and mentally preparing for the next round that would promptly arrive.

Ultimately, my three boys managed through Covid albeit mentally and emotionally bruised, but the most unfortunate outcome of this ordeal was a subsequent divorce.

This unfortunate and devastating development found its way into both my personal and artistic journey. I of course continued looking after my three boys, adding some new duties to my and the boys work such as: laundry, cooking, cleaning etc. Clearly personal perseverance was applied as the four of us trudged onward toward our collective survival and altered personal goals. Artistically, I continued to push through despite some musicians not wanting to be around others and many cocooning during this time. Songs like ‘What About Me’ and ‘Days Like This’ were written in the middle of the Covid storm.


YOUR MUSIC BLENDS VARIOUS GENRES LIKE ROCK, BLUES, SOUL, AMERICANA, AND R&B. HOW DO YOU APPROACH MIXING THESE INFLUENCES INTO A COHESIVE SOUND?

Story. Rhythm. Melody.

I seem to be motivated and scribe with one of these three things leading, though not always in this order. Once I begin down one of these paths, I find that the selection of influences manifest themselves naturally. Said another way, I am the product of the places I have lived, the history I have been placed in and all of the swirl contained within all of that. I don’t “think” about blending these categorical genres.

I produce what feel is honest and right to me.

I suppose, I am, a sort of blender. Having lived and been influenced by history, always watching and listening, it is natural that the sounds and experiences that have influenced me, I have also instinctually absorbed and utilised to create my unique mash. Ultimately I need to be honest and authentic and it it seems these genres organically pour out of me. I have learned to not think about it too much, rather focusing on “doing” and just make sure that the end result is my version of honest.

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THE TITLE ‘SPINNING NORTH’ SEEMS TO HOLD SIGNIFICANT MEANING. COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHAT IT REPRESENTS TO YOU AND HOW IT CONNECTS TO THE ALBUM’S THEMES?

As I mentioned above perseverance is a word and concept that has sustained me. I realised going through Covid that life can be unfair, ugly, brutal and hard— really hard. It was a really hard time to persevere and survive, let alone create music and an album. And, then I thought about my deceased grandparents who came from the Baltics in 1915 on a boat ultimately to Detroit where I am from, with no money struggled and built a life. And I thought about WWI and the Depression and WWII. And I thought about the military cemeteries in our area where soldiers rest. And I kept thinking about Why? trying to find meaning in it all, the past struggles and the current struggles, the faux division and the actual division…. And one day, it hit me really hard.

I believe we are all much more similar than we are different. I believe we are all trying to craft a better reality. We all want wellness, whatever that means or looks like to us personally. We all want love. We all get up each day and we work, hard, really hard, so that we can provide something better for those we love. I believe that there is a tremendous nobility in this grind. We are all battling everyday so that we can get ourselves and those we love to a better place. We are all striving for greener grass and a bluer sky.

We are all Spinning North.

YOU’VE MENTIONED THAT EACH SONG ON THE ALBUM CAPTURES A SENSE OF YEARNING OR STRIVING. CAN YOU SHARE SOME SPECIFIC EXPERIENCES THAT INSPIRED YOUR SONGWRITING?

The politics of division that so many countries are living through, and have for the last several years, inspired, ‘What About Me.’ This song epitomises in many ways the striving and spirit of the album title ‘Spinning North.’ What excites me about this song is that buried in the D section of this song is a way forward. This song title is a misnomer—It should be titled ‘What about We?’ The solution to, the forced, or coerced manufactured division that has been thrust on so many of us, is unity. The spirit of ‘we,’ encapsulated by shared history, problem solving, shared language, customs and vision will endure. As an American it is crystal clear what this means, as our history was created clearly by a group coming together to create a new reality. I have lived enough to have seen problems solved, and perceived barriers eviscerated and community prevail. 


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COLLABORATION PLAYED A ROLE IN SHAPING THE ALBUM. HOW DID WORKING WITH OTHER MUSICIANS CONTRIBUTE TO THE OVERALL SOUND AND DIRECTION OF ‘SPINNING NORTH’?


Starting with rhythm, Vinnie Dobroski the leader of the band Sponge, a great writer and singer ALSO is an accomplished drummer who contributed to three songs and offered up a confident and soulful feel on songs like ‘What About Me,’ ‘Days Like This,’ ‘Daisy’ and ‘Bite of the Apple.’ He along with Sponge co-patriot bassist/writer/producer Tim Patalan created a drum/bass lock that was sensational. Tim’s brother, Andy Patalan also a writer/guitarist served as the third leg of that groove stool contributing unique guitar work and serving as the co producer for the entire ‘Spinning North’ project. Andy also engineered, mixed and mastered the entire album (a Groovy Swiss Army knife!). 

Collaborating with these three guys had a major impact on the album. Jason Heartless another Detroit area drummer with great feel had a major impact as did versatile Detroit-based bassist Takashi Io. Chris Codish on the tune ‘Eye of the Hurricane’ contributed a memorable piano performance. Finally Tasha Owens, had a significant impact providing soul searing back ground vocals that are distinctive. Working with this group of talented Detroit based musical team was a joy and honour.

LOOKING AHEAD, WHAT DO YOU ENVISION FOR THE TANO JONES REVELRY’S NEXT STEPS AFTER THE RELEASE OF ‘SPINNING NORTH’?

The album has been released digitally, vinyl release is upcoming, single releases are slated and one is in play. Currently the tune ‘DAISY,’ has been received well in its first week’s release. This will be followed with promotion, touring and more interviews. We will be shooting 3 more full length videos. I am also currently working in the studio on the next album at this time.


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AND, FINALLY, A QUESTION FOR FUN… IN THREE WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE VIBE OF ‘SPINNING NORTH’?

Soulful, Rooted, Aspirational.

Thank you and be well. tano jones



As we conclude our conversation with Tano Jones, the essence of ‘Spinning North’ gains deeper meaning—a testament to resilience, unity, and the universal human experience—and, especially in relation to the last few tumultuous years. Stay tuned for more from this dynamic artist and company as we’re sure the journey of ‘Spinning North’ will continue to unfold. 

We’d also like to wish a heartfelt thank you to Tano Jones for taking the time to share his insights and passion with us. We wish you all the very best.

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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