The Sound

J Shorty’s unique “Kinston Blues” sound is a tasty composite of his roots rock, doo-wop and bebop influences and pays homage to the musical icons of his youth.


Kinston Blues also borrows the energy of New Orleans blues. An avid musician since before the days of Motown, Shorty has always appreciated the way the blues is sung at the Mississippi’s mouth down on the bayou.

Kinston, N.C.

A tobacco town undergoing an artistic renaissance, Kinston, North Carolina is the seat of Lenoir County and has the distinction of being the hometown of a number of famous musicians, artists and creatives.

musicpark1-e1410279187671Kinston’s music tradition and founding role in the African-American Music Trail of North Carolina is commemorated at the Kinston Music Park on South Queen Street, which features musically interactive interpretive signs and mini-profiles of Kinston’s Maceo Parker, Kinston’s Dick Knight, Rocky Mount’s Petey Pablo and other legendary musicians who are Eastern North Carolina natives.

Kinston is one of the North Carolina Arts Council’s chosen SmART Initiative towns; communities that use distinctive arts and cultural assets to revitalize areas, instill a strong sense of place and pride in residents and create sustainable economic development.

You can stream or purchase “The Bluesman,” Shorty’s first online Kinston Blues album on nearly every streaming app or music shop.

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