10 Bands You’ve Probably Never Heard: The Letter J


This is the series where I share with you some great bands from my music collection that should be more famous. This post contains bands that start with the letter J according to my iTunes.

James Cotton

If you like the blues, if you know names like Howlin’ Wolf, BB King and John Lee Hooker, you’re missing out if you don’t know James Cotton. This man can play the harmonica like nobody’s business.

Origin: Tunica, Mississippi
Genre: Blues, Chicago blues, Delta blues, Jazz, Memphis blues
Years active: 1953–present

Jayke Orvis & The Broken Band

This is a mighty fine pickin’ right here, I tell you what. I am a sucker for the fiddle, banjo and mandolin, and they have all three. Also, upright bass. WIN.

Origin: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Genre: bluegrass, alt country, alt bluegrass, roots
Years active: 2000s–present

James Cole Pablo

I’m really not sure what genre(s) this fits into, but it wouldn’t be out of place in a small cantina in either 1920s Paris or the Star Wars universe. It sounds like it could be on the soundtrack to Bioshock, if you have any idea what that means. I linked his Soundcloud page above so you can get more. I suggest you do.

Origin: Paris, France
Experimental, instrumental, lounge
Years active: ?–present

Jedi Mind Tricks

How had no one taken this band name before? This is a collaboration between Vinnie Paz and Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind, which really has to be the best MC name ever.

Origin: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
hip hop, underground hip hop
Years active: 1993–present

Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus

Yet another band from my favorite record label, Small Stone (linked above). Big, big, heavy, fuzzy, 70s inspired awesomeness. It seems I’m a big fan of a lot of Swedish bands, for good reason.

Origin: Stockholm, Sweden
stoner rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock
Years Active: 2004-present

Jess & The Ancient Ones

If Heart and Jefferson Airplane collaborated and made music like they used to, it might sound something like Jess & The Ancient Ones.

Origin: Kuopio, Finland
  Hard rock, garage rock, psychedelic rock
Years Active: 2010–present

Job For A Cowboy

If you like Avenged Sevenfold or any of those other nu-metal inspired what-passes-for-heavy-these-days bands, you should put down the toy music and pick up Job For A Cowboy instead. These guys make them sound like the pansy-eating sissies they are. This is the evolution of metal.

Origin: Glendale, Arizona
Death metal, technical death metal, math metal, deathcore, heavy as balls
Years Active: 2003–present

Joy As A Toy

And, speaking of loungy, unclassifiable awesomeness from France, dig this shiznit. I have no idea what it is really, but I wholeheartedly approve.

Origin: France
in their own words: vampire pop, tennis pop, psychedelic pop
Years Active: ?-present

The Joy Formidable

As you can probably tell, I’m not a big fan of pop music or songs on the radio. This band, and this song in particular, should have been huge radio hits. It sounds so contemporary to me, but better.

Origin: North Wales, United Kingdom
Alternative rock, dream pop, shoegazing, indie rock
Years Active: 2007-present


Ah, Justice. This stuff sounds like it came through an 80s wormhole right into your ears. It’s brilliant. This is what the 80s should have been. I can totally hear this coming out of one of those big boomboxes while people break-danced. Fun stuff.

Origin: Paris, France
Electro house, electronica, nu-disco, electroclash, electronic rock, alternative dance
Years Active: 2003–present

More bands you’ve never heard.