Old school R&B music is what this Delta music man, JR Blu, brought to Bally’s Casino (formerly Casino Vicksburg), located at 1380 Warrenton Rd., on Saturday, October 2, 2021.
Music about love and lyrics that one can understand is what R&B has always been about, and it is having a resurgence in the industry. JR Blu, a young R&B singer from Ruleville, Mississippi, says, “I’ve always loved this type of music; it’s what I grew up on in my home and hometown. So many of the greats in the music business come from the Delta, and I knew early on that I wanted to sing songs about love and happy times because that’s what was in my home as a kid. I didn’t have school shootings and drugs as part of my everyday life, so I can’t sing about those things.
“Sam Cooke was probably the first person I really heard deep down in my soul. His spirit came across in his voice, and I could relate to what I heard in him. Therefore, singing about things that happen in my life was what came out when I started to write music. Putting on a concert at Bally’s Casino was a dream come true for me. Being able to bring my style of music to a venue of Bally’s caliber lets me know that others love good music and that the casino is a great place to showcase my talent.”
R&B singer Johnny Kroon from West Memphis, Arkansas was invited by JR Blu to be his opening act. Kroon was well-received by the audience with several standing ovations and plenty of dance-along stepping and electric slide dance lines. He is an Air Force veteran. Kroon said, “I write good clean songs. I’m not out here writing any of that mess. Feel good music is still being produced by people like me and JR Blu.”
William Fonville, aka JR Blu, is a native of the Mississippi Delta. He’s an independent musician (Capital A Records) who recorded “She’s Been Good” at Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee with “Boo” Mitchell – the son of the great Willie Mitchell who recorded some of the biggest names in the business back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. JR Blu opened his set with his big hit “She’s Been Good” and “If There’s Anybody Here” which immediately sparked the crowd.
Blu said, “I try to keep my music clean so my family can listen to and enjoy my music. I write from my heart. Most of my music is written at my mom’s house because that’s where I first heard good old school music. I started singing at home around the house; therefore, that’s where I feel most comfortable writing the type of music I put out. I love my guy Johnny Kroon. We are on the same page as far as the type of music we both grew up on, including the sounds of Al Green, Johnnie Taylor, Tyrone Davis, and B.B. King.
“That’s why you are going to be hearing me and Johnny Kroon on records together. Right now, I’m working on dropping EPs because it’s easier to do with technology and I don’t have to put out a whole CD at one time. With EPs, I can keep some products out in the marketplace on a regular basis. I’m excited to be at Bally’s, and I thank them for giving me this platform to showcase my music.”
Follow JR Blu on Facebook and/or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hear “She’s Been Good” on Spotify and YouTube. For bookings, call 662-402-5299.