Universal Philosophy (Luaka Bop)

Contact Sam McAllister about Preacherman

Tim Jones is known by several different monikers; Preacherman, Midi Man and Ironing Board Band to name a few. Though perhaps his most notable is the one that describes him best, T.J. Hustler.


In 1979 as T.J. Hustler, Jones self-released one extremely rare LP, Age Of Individualism. In the years since, he’s released two even rarer CD’s as Preacherman, of which the tracks on this forthcoming reissue, Universal Philosophy: Preacherman plays T.J. Hustler’s Greatest Hits (out October 12th on Luaka Bop), are taken.


Jones was raised in Fresno, CA and started playing blues on the organ in the eleventh grade. He joined his first band in 1963 before moving north to the Bay Area. In the early 1970s, Jones began performing around town and recording with groups Dawn and Sunset and Mystic Moods. Not only did he handle organ duties, but he even created his own unique sounds, modifying the instrument to sound like a bass.


In the 1980’s Jones was a technician for IBM in both Las Vegas and San Jose where he repaired Selectric Typewriters then word processors during the day. At night he world perform in the Las Vegas lounges. Thoroughly fascinated by technology and also an engineer in his own right, Jones adapted a Hammond B3 organ to play a Moog synth with some of the organ’s keys (some still played the organ) and also adapted the organ’s foot controlled bass levers to play two Moog synth bass pedals (a failed item Moog made for a few years). Thinking he wasn’t much of a live performer, he had a handmade wooden puppet named T.J. Hustler. Together, Tim Jones/Preacherman and T.J. Hustler would engage in long philosophical soliloquies.


These days, Jones lives with his 102 year-old mother in Oakland and T.J. Hustler along with the modified organ live in a storage unit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tim has a lot to say about everything; so much so that he has even created a little book called Universal Philosophy, which this reissue takes its name from. In Oakland now, he plays shows on his Casio CTK-7200 keyboard where he performs live karaoke equipped with five wireless mics, a P.A., and a list of about a 100 songs he can play. “The kids these days want to hear the sounds the Casio makes,” says Jones. He also maintains a residency in town at The Layover where he performs on Wednesday evenings.


Perhaps even more so than his first album, Universal Philosophy grants listeners access, virtually for the very first time, to Jones’ outlook, his purpose, and the way he lives and experiences life on this planet. The music presented here is otherworldly, homespun, new age funk; concise and stream-of-consciousness simultaneously.


By the time he was recording the music which eventually found its way to this collection, Jones felt he had progressed as an engineer, as a musician and as an artist. “I was looking for how to improve upon what I already had. But it didn’t’ really get good until about the 90s,” remarks Jones. “I kept pushing on, pushing on. Always kept the music going but the whole idea behind what I was doing was what I was dreaming to do, just training my hands and feet to work together. Trying to get them to work together. When they work together, you can do a whole lot of things, that changes your brain too. It changes your whole brain, your state of mind changes.”


The seven tracks collected here were originally released on homemade CD-R’s, making them the rarest pieces of music Jones has ever created, and highly sought after amongst collectors. They have virtually gone unheard, until now.