Jukin’ Bone was a legendary band from Upstate New York who formed (as Free Will) in 1968 and signed to RCA Records in 1971. Led by vocalist Joe Whiting and lead guitarist Mark Doyle, the band also featured George Egosarian on second guitar, John DeMaso on bass, and Tom Glaister on drums. This was the line-up that recorded their first album for RCA, Whiskey Woman. By the time of their second lp, Way Down East, Tom Glaister had been replaced by two drummers, Danny Coward and Kevin Shwaryk.
Both albums featured original compositions by Whiting, Doyle, and Egosarian in various combinations, and were hailed by Creem magazine as seminal classics of 70’s hard rock. While signed to RCA, the band toured with ZZ Top, Freddie King, The Allman Brothers, The Kinks, John Mayall, and Three Dog Night, among others. They disbanded acrimoniously in 1973, although Doyle and Whiting went on to record several fine albums together on the Blue Wave and Free Will labels, and also achieved individual success in their lengthy careers – Mark as either producer/music director/guitarist for the likes of Meat Loaf, Bryan Adams, Hall & Oates, Mary Fahl, et al and Joe with Bobby Comstock, Savoy Brown, and as tour opener for Van Halen.
Jukin’ Bone eventually made peace with one another and assembled in 1993 for a performance at the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMY’S) and played some reunion gigs every few years until 2005.
In 2017, all the stars seemed to align. Jukin’ Bone was inducted into the SAMMY’S Hall of Fame, and on the heels of that, Whiting called Doyle, DeMaso and Egosarian and posed the question, “What if we finally got to make the album we always wanted to make?” Everyone in the band signed on, and the universe smiled again when Doyle was offered and signed on the band’s behalf an exclusive licensing deal with Akarma Records in Italy for the release of five albums’ worth of early Free Will titles on high quality vinyl and digital downloads.
All of which leads us to Unfinished Business, Jukin’ Bone’s first new studio album in 44 years. Featuring 9 new originals and one classic blues, this record is, indeed, “the album (they) always wanted to make.” Let’s give the last word to the person who inducted them into the Hall of Fame, longtime fan and founder of the Bandier Program for Music Business and the Entertainment Industries at Syracuse University, David M. Rezak:
“(They’ve made) a record that showcases the voodoo of the rockin’ material and the swampy marination of the slower songs. The album benefits from a lifetime of lessons that fostered maturity in song-craft and performance chops. Jukin’ Bone’s soulful rock authenticity is far more palpable on Unfinished Business than on RCA’s Whiskey Woman and Way Down East.
Mark Doyle has always been a widely recognized multi-instrumental wizard but he has become the world-class producer that the younger Jukin’ Bone never had.
Joe Whiting developed a growing arsenal of polished voices and nuanced flavors over the decades.
George Egosarian plumed the fringes of rock chording, ever stretching the writing team toward pleasingly unexpected places.
John DeMaso Miralles is now even more inventively weaving his Latin roots into the fabric.
Special guest Josh Dekaney, like original drummer Tom Glaister, provides the breadth of a classical percussionist reveling in the power of straight-ahead rock’n’roll.
What a story! A deliciously just outcome in which great music prevails! Brothers who suffered at the hands of unscrupulous moguls and plain bad luck, triumph in the end. Whatever happens now, Jukin’ Bone’s Unfinished Business finally attests to what we fans have known for so long. Now subsequent generations will understand our excitement…thank goodness…as a fan for nearly fifty years, I am vindicated by Unfinished Business!”