Edgar is a singer-songwriter and musician from Liverpool, initially known for his success with cult band The Stairs and has since worked with the likes of Paul Weller, Ian McCulloch, Johnny Marr, Ocean Colour Scene, The La’s, Saint Etienne & Cherry Ghost, to name but a few
MOJO ~ A Singular Talent
NOEL GALLAGHER ~ It bent my head, man. It’s probably one of the best records I have ever heard
NME ~ Rock’s lost golden boy. Listening to this becomes an aural history of the world’s coolest music. A true Liverpool hero
UNCUT ~ Liverpool’s answer to Dr John
WHISPERINANDHOLLERIN ~ A Living legend – Edgar has spent over two decades making stunningly out-there records
RECORD COLLECTOR ~ Mesmerising, pigeonhole-defying, gumbo of beatnik, Jazz, R&B, doo-wop and out-there Scouse Soul
Liverpool-born Edgar Jones made his mark in the early ’90s as the leader of the highly regarded ’60s revivalists The Stairs, then transitioned into a sideman with artists such as Paul Weller and Saint Etienne. He also launched a solo career under various names and group settings that swerved from reverb-heavy garage rock and swaggering blues-rock to off-kilter ’60s-isnspired pop and even swinging jazz.
His lounge jazz album from 2005 Soothing Music for Stray Cats won plaudits from Noel Gallagher and he won the sponsorship of The Coral, who issued his 2017 album The Song of Day and Night on their Skeleton Key label. No matter the sound or name of the group, Jones could be counted on to deliver breezy pop music, anchored by his languorous vocals and skilful musicianship.
Starting his career at the tender age of 20, Jones joined Ian McCulloch‘s post-Echo & the Bunnymen band in 1990, playing bass on-stage and on 1992’s Mysterio album. Meanwhile, Jones (now using the name Edgar Summertyme), guitarist Ged Lynn, and drummer Paul Maguire launched the Stairs, releasing their first single, “Weed Bus,” in 1991, then the Mexican R ‘n’ B album in 1992. The band made a point of dressing and playing as if music had stopped dead in 1966, a view that was out of step with the prevailing musical landscape. After a few more singles that year, they began work on a second album, but ended up leaving their label Go! Discs and taking a turn into blues-rock territory before splitting up in 1994.
Jones rebounded and formed a new band with future Zutons member Sean Payne called the Isrites, but before they could release any records they were tabbed by Lee Mavers as the latest incarnation of the La’s. While an honor bestowed to many Liverpudlian musicians over the years, it put the stop on Jones’ career in some regards.
He emerged as a session bassist, playing on Saint Etienne’s Sound of Water, with Paul Weller, and on Ocean Colour Scene‘s Mechanical Wonder, then with the band the Big Kids, which he formed with Sean Payne and his brother Howie. They made recordings, but none were released during the band’s existence. As the Paynes went their separate ways, Jones lit out on his own, forming the Joneses and dubbing himself Edgar “Jones” Jones. With a revolving cast of musicians, he recorded a trio of odd and diverse albums for the tiny Viper label. Released in 2005, Soothing Music for Stray Cats featured Jones in full hepcat mode as he and the band vamped through ’50s pop ballads, cocktail jazz, jump blues, and scat vocals; 2007’s Gettin’ a Little Help… From the “Joneses” added some garage rock, straight blues, and Tamla soul to the mix; and 2008’s The Masked Marauder, billed to Edgar Jones and Friends, jumped to the ’70s with drum machine-led soul, samba, and electro tracks. He also did session work to help pay the bills, playing on albums by Cherry Ghost and Black.
His next project was more straightforward: the blues-rock trio Free Peace, which featured Stuart Gimblett on guitar and drummer Nick Miniski. They released one album, Stormy Weather, in 2011, then broke up soon afterward despite snagging a spot supporting Oasis. But he didn’t sit around feeling blue, instead relaunching the mothballed Edgar Summertyme name for two albums, 2012’s Sense of Harmony and 2013’s Morphic Fields, both of which refined Jones’ approach into a unique kind of pastoral psychedelic soul. Fittingly, the Stairs were soon called out of retirement. Though Viper had done much to keep their name alive by issuing collections of rare songs, it was the band the Wicked Whispers who convinced Jones and company to re-form for a show in November of 2015. In support, they released a new collection of rarities on Viper called The Great Lemonade Machine in the Sky, from which a single, “Shit Town,” was culled. The show went so well that the band stayed together to tour the next year with the Wicked Whispers, hitting the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia along the way.
At the same time, Jones was readying his next solo album for the Coral’s Skeleton Key label. Titled The Song of Day and Night, it was released in early 2017. Things were quiet on the recording front for Jones for a few years after, though he returned to the marketplace with the three-disc collection The Way It Is: 25 Years of Solo Adventures in early 2021. It was issued by Cherry Red and covered solo recordings and songs made by the various post-Stairs incarnations Jones played and recorded in.