“Thoughts and Prayers “ for All of You

I have a new song available in the Music section. Very exciting. For me, at least! 

“Thoughts and Prayers” is a response to the terribly tired refrain that follows small problems and terrible events that require much more than that. Sure, the thoughts and the prayers are nice. I’m a believer and practitioner of both. But they’re aren’t near enough, are they? 

I hope you appreciate the song. I started it shortly after the shooting in Parkland, FL at Marjory Stone Douglas High School. 

What’s the key to a topical or “protest” song? Years ago I had the thrill of interviewing the legendary songwriter and rabble-rouser Utah Phillips. His wise take was that the best ones have a sense of humor and are not overly preachy. I hope I hit that tricky sweet spot. -- MJ

PS - Utah Phillips was one of smartest, punkest, most inspiring people I’ve ever interviewed. Read my piece on him at https://www.westword.com/music/state-of-grace-5065380 . RIP Utah.

My New Solo Recording

At last, my debut solo recording is available for you fine folks to buy and enjoy. Nothing to Cry About features six songs written and performed by yours truly. The songs stretch from my typical winking numbers to a personal protest number, a lonely blue boy ode, and optimistic songs for tough times.

This is my first solo disc. It feels downright liberating to have it done. I've been wanting to release a batch of bare-bones tunes for a while now. This recording is also my first step in a quieter, more stripped-down approach to playing music while landing Grammy awards and global fame. (Haha!)

The solo gig puts an unvarnished (and a bit nerve-wracking for me) focus on my songwriting efforts and singing, and songs that never seemed to fit my with-band pursuits. This solo approach also frees my ears from any more damage, while pushing me into a new but especially satisfying artistic discomfort zone. 

Each song link on my Bandcamp page has a few details on the song and the lyrics to the song. The songs are available in digital format and I also have a few Nothing to Cry About CDs available for old-school CD buyers like me.

I hope you dig this batch of songs. I hope you'll buy this recording. Each song was lovingly crafted by me in small batches, right here in Denver, CO. These songs were recorded in brilliant no-frills fashion by the mighty Kyle Jones of Sleeping Brotherhood Studios in Denver.

Alright, there's the latest news from me. I have a few gigs coming up in support of this CD, stay tuned for details on those gigs.

Marty Jones, Singer/Songwriter/Musician

My So-Called Solo Career, New Song

Milestones are great for celebrating the past and improving the future. Having recently hit the 20-year mark as a Denverite (time really does fly when you’re having fun), I’ve been having some extra fun looking back on the adventure and blessings I’ve enjoyed here. Thank you very much Denver, Colorado and all of your fine people. Thank you Mrs. Jones for your grand “let’s move to Denver” idea.

But the milestone has also reminded me that I’ve wasted much musical time. I’m way behind in my solo-artist pursuit. I’m overdue on cutting loose a bunch of songs that’ve brought me much at-home pleasure but never seemed to fit with my band-backed sound. The songs are too sad, too angry or too goofy. Or I’m too chicken to put ‘em out there.

So I’m fixing that. Starting with a song now on my Music page that was a napalm set bomb -- deservedly so, perhaps -- the few times I ever played it live. “Heaven Knows” came about due to the murder of a 6-year-old girl in Boulder back in December of 1995, just a few months after I moved here. You know the story. Everybody knows the story.

Like so many others, I’m still amazed that -- despite all the attention the case got -- nobody was brought to justice for it. It also bugged me that nobody ever wrote a song about it. So here’s my humble part for remedying the latter (and far less troubling) of those two things.

More solo numbers are on the way. Don’t worry, most of them are much sunnier than this one. 


Two-Pack of New Songs: Re-Brewed

I have a new single up for sale in the Music section here. It features a pair of MJ songs from previous recordings of mine, re-recorded and re-issued in honor of the 20th anniversary of my moving to Denver and putting down my music and beer roots here. It's just $3 for both songs.

"One More Beer" is --to me -- the best song I've written and as fine of a healing-power-of-a-beer-in-a-bar song as there is. Okay, I said it! Written from firsthand band, beer-lover and last-call experience, the original version (just me and a guitar) closed out the acclaimed MJ & the PBPBs debut. It got some great airplay. It's become a regular in MJ & the GUs shows and my solo shows, and seemed like one worth a revisit.

"Match Made in Milwaukee" came about years ago in a Phoenix bar while I was telling a pal about the wonderful mutual affections for beer that my bride and I enjoy. The chorus nods to a great Jerry Lee Lewis song -- "What Made Milwaukee Famous (Made a Loser out of Me)" -- and may qualify as a "hit" song of mine. This new version features the rocking Great Unknowns and takes the songs to new and especially beer-friendly heights.

I hope you'll buy this single and these two new cuts.

To spread some extra joy (and a few bucks) around for the holidays, from December7-25 I'm donating two bucks from each sale of Re-Brewed to Reading Partners. I'm a reading tutor volunteer (go Cole Academy!) for the group, which helps low-income students improve their reading skills.  They are a fantastic group and need financial support and more tutors.


Fundraising for Tommy Womack's New Recording

Nashville's Tommy Womack is one of my all-time favorite music makers, he's in my semi-twanged holy trinity with Webb Wilder and Robbie Fulks. 

He's launched a Gofundme campaign for the release of his new recording, Namaste. You can pitch in for the cause at  https://www.gofundme.com/yr76j7gg . I'll be doing the same.

But I wanna get him some additional dough. So between now and the end of November I'm donating 100% of all sales of my music at this site to Tommy.

So buy some music and help me help him, will ya?

Marty Jones

Nov 11, 2015


Reading & Rocking

Hello Fans,

There are two weeks left in my fundraising effort for Reading Partners.

I hope you'll order some music here and help me raise a few bucks for a super cause.


Rock So Others Can Read

After many years of foot dragging, this year I decided to get off my butt and find a volunteer gig as a reading tutor. Reading and English teachers and my book-reading Mom played a major role in my learning to read. Nothing I’ve done as an adult would’ve been possible without their help.

A neighbor steered me to Reading Partners, a very organized national group that helps low-income students improve their reading skills. For tentative volunteers like me, Reading Partners offers the easiest volunteer opportunity ever, as little as one hour each week. Even I can do that!

While I have a fun and beer-minded day job, my weekly hour helping a Wyatt Academy 3rd grader has been the most meaningful hour of my week in 2015. So from now through the end of June, I’m donating a buck from each song sold through my Web site to Reading Partners.

I hope you’ll purchase some music and complete your MJ catalog, while helping me return a favor to a very deserving organization and its super-important cause. Learn about the group at http://readingpartners.org .

Thank you very much, 

MJ & the GUs Play Governor’s Ball


We had the great honor of being chosen by Governor John Hickenlooper to headline his recent inaugural ball at the famed Fillmore Auditorium.

It was a career highlight to be selected by our favorite politician for this historic gig. It was a gigantic thrill to be on that revered stage -- that has hosted so many great bands over the years – and to reel & rock for 2000-plus folks at such a fine occasion.

Gotta say, the sound on that stage was awesome. Big and rich but not too loud, we sounded downright menacing up there. The sound crew took great care of us with that exceptional stage and house mix.

Heck, the Fillmore roadies (and “roadies” is a term we never get to use!) offered to carry our gear back and forth to our cars before and after the gig. How nice!

All in all it was a night to remember for us. Thanks Governor and Fillmore staff.  - MJ

Inaugural ball for Governor John Hickenlooper!

Happy New Year, faithful fans,

In addition to this being the anniversary of Elvis’ birthday, there’s some important news we’re especially happy about.

The news? We’ve been selected to headline the January 13 inaugural ball for Governor John Hickenlooper. We can’t believe it either.

The event takes place at the Fillmore Auditorium from 5-9 PM and features the mighty and re-elected (hooray!) Hick, much celebratory fun, dinner, and beer-blessed music from MJ & the Great Unknowns. How appropriate for a celebration honoring our beloved brewer-turned-governor.

The Mary Louise Lee Band, led by the wife of our equally beloved Denver mayor, Michael Hancock, kicks off the music around 5:30.
We hit the stage at 6:15 and reel & rock until around 7:45. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime gig for us and we are thrilled about it!

We’re hoping the Gov will bring his banjo and sit in with us on a song.  
Get tickets at http://coloradoup.org .


MJ Debuts America’s First Beer-Focused Talk & Variety Show

On October 1 at 8 PM, the night before the start of the 34th annual Great American Beer Festival, I’m launching a cool new project: The Brew Night Show.

America’s first beer-focused talk and variety show, it takes place at 8 PM at the luxurious Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, in the famed May D&F Clocktower at 16th and Arapahoe streets on Denver’s 16th Street pedestrian mall.

In addition to beery humor and music from yours truly, the night features unique beer-industry guests (including the legendary Charlie Papazian, Stephen Beaumont and Chuck Silva), a one-night-only list of exceptional beers (including gems from Green Flash, Odell, Crazy Mountain, Wasatch, Squatters and Dude’s Brews) “brewlesque” performers, tasters of special beers, and surprise guests. Jones’ backing band, The Brewbadours, will serve as house band for the evening.

I’m certain that this will be the most entertaining beer-focused talk and variety show ever.

Why have I created The Brew Night Show? Last year I made a pledge to myself to have more fun and take on some additional creative challenges of questionable artistic value. The Brew Night Show is the perfect way to do that.

The show allows me to indulge my frivolous passions – singing, songwriting, juvenile humor and spoof videos – in one incredibly foolish and time-consuming project. All while embarrassing myself in front of my peers and fellow beer nuts.

More importantly, craft beer is suffering from a lack of dumb jokes about brettanomyces, brewery-vs-brewery lawsuits and flocculation. I’m going to change that.

The debut of the Brew Night Show is sponsored by Green Flash Brewing, Draft Magazine and Argonaut Wine & Liquor.

Tickets are $20 and are available at www.lannies.com. The ticket price includes a free year’s subscription to Draft Magazine and other beery perks. Doors open at 7 PM, the show begins at 8 PM.

A post-show party begins at approximately 9:30 PM and includes more beer-minded music from MJ & the Brewbadours, and songs from beer-industry parody group the Rolling Boil Blues Band, led by Celebrator Beer News publisher Tom Dalldorf. After party admission is just $5 at the door.

I hope you’ll attend and help me kick off The Brew Night Show in big fashion.

Thank you very much,
Marty Jones

MJ & the GUs Release New Single!

At long last, we have a couple of new songs available for purchase, for you, very patient MJ & the GUs fans. Our new digital single features a pair of new songs of mine that stretch us into some new turf.

How so? The "A side" of "She Puts the Bourbon in Suburban" is our first song about not beer, but whiskey. Yep, a very bold artistic move on our part. A rocking ode to the perils of excessive spirits out in the 'burbs, it's a number we've playing for some time and had been itching to record. So here you go. Maybe there's a Woodford Reserve or Evan Williams Single Barrel whiskey sponsorship in our future?

"Kiss Me" is a throwback mood number that centers around endless aching for the one you need but can't have. Dig the tasteful playing by the GUs and the super tasty solo by our man Zach. Plus it checks off a box on my musical bucket list: "Write and record a Roy Orbison-style drama number."

I hope you dig the songs, thanks for buying them. We recorded these at NFA in Denver — they were recorded and mixed by our man Mario Casilio there.

Marty Jones

Summer Gigs for 2014

Saturday, June 21: Lake Dillon Brewfest, Dillon Amphitheater
The Brewbadours, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Sunday, June 22: Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour
Keystone River Run Events Plaza
The Great Unknowns, 1:00pm - 2:00pm 

Saturday, June 28: Colorado Brewers' Festival, Downtown Fort Collins, CO
Marty Jones & the Brewbadours, time TBA\

Saturday, July 12: Breckenridge Brewery Anniversary
Breckenridge Brewery
471 Kalamath St., Denver, CO
Time TBA

Saturday,  August 24: Central City Beer Festival, Downtown Central City, CO
Noon - 2PM

Friday, September 5: Americana Throwdown, The Oriental Theater
Denver, CO
Time TBA

What a Tease: MJ & the GUs Play Burlesque Shows

This Friday (2-21-14) and next Friday (2-28-14) we play special sets at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret, backing up the lovely burlesque divas at Lannie's.

The annual "best gig of the year" for me and the Great Unknowns, the Honkytonk Honey show makes for a unique and wonderful night of alluring, campy, bawdy fun.

These shows also give burlesque fans the rare chance to see Denver's best striptease artists perform to live music.

The shows are a blast for us, the audience and the performers, and Lannie's is the one of the best places in Denver to see a live show.

Come see us there if you can, get details and buy tickets at http://lannies.com/?p=2761 .

See a clip from one of our previous burlesque shows at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeYDj4G3E3Q .


Shop for a Good Cause

Here’s a holiday shopping idea that can do us all some good.

This month you buy some music from this site. I’ll donate 100% of all of our music sales in December to a fund set up to help the family of the late Dan Schoen here in Denver.

You already have my stuff? Buy some for your pals and loved ones through a cool gift-giving option in our music section.

Dan was my first music fan when I moved here in 1995. He died unexpectedly a few weeks ago from a brain aneurysm. He was just 46. He left behind his wife Debra and their 6-year-old daughter.

Shall we have a collective George Bailey moment this Christmas? Chip in and buy some songs at www.martyjones.net.

I first met Dan back in 1995. I was new to town, felt lost here, and had just played my first gig in Denver. A frightening (for me and the crowd) solo show opening for the then not-so-famous Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. (Thanks, Slim.)

A week or two after that show, I pulled up a seat at the bar at the Lion’s Lair. Where Dan turned to me, called me by name, and introduced himself with this: “I think you are the best thing to happen to this town’s music scene in a long time. And anybody that has the guts to sing a song by himself while playing a washtub bass has my respect.”

I was far from my Norfolk, VA home and had left behind medium-sized-fish-in-a-small-pond status for the breadth and anonymity of D-Town. So those were some very comforting words. Especially since my solo set before the mighty Slim and his mates was (as they are today!) a bit shaky.

But Dan sure appreciated it. I sure appreciated his kind and welcoming words. And his appreciation of my music long after that wonderful first meeting. Here's a fine tribute to Dan from Yellow Scene Magazine: http://yellowscene.com/2013/10/31/danny-stood-up/

Alright, I hope you’ll spend some dough here this month on behalf of Dan and his family. Biggest December shopper/donator gets a custom mixed case of beer from me.

On a different note: Me and the fellas are working on a new recording and getting ready for a pair of our famed honkytonk burlesque shows at Lannie’s in February. Details soon.

Merry Christmas to you all.
Marty Jones

We have some great shows these days, come see us at one of these gigs:

June 22, 4 PM, Westword Showcase. We celebrate another nomination with a rocking set. See www.westword for details.

July 13, 1- 2;15, Breckenridge Brewery anniversary party. We play the big stage in the middle of 471 Kalamath Street and help our Breck pals mark another fine year of fine beer. 

July 24, 9 PM, Hi-Dive. We warm up the crowd for the mighty “Wayne The Train” Hancock at the always welcoming Hi-Dive.

August 10, 3 PM, Uptown Block Party. We knock out an acoustic set for this cool fundraiser for our neighborhood.

August 24, 3 PM, Central City Beerfest. We get the very cool opening slot before the mighty Young Dubliners. Beer music and beer meet in the capitol of the “pointy lands” of Colorado.

November 2, 9 PM, Hi-Dive. We open the night for the return of our good pals the Hollyfelds.