Family friendly, high energy entertainment with a focus on authenticity and live performance...

We are Keith Jones and the Makeshifts! A 1950's swingy rock and roll and rockabilly group with an emphasis on Bill Haley's style from Cincinnati, OH. We pride ourselves in quality live performances and our dedication to authenticity and trueness to the original sound.


Some quick review quotes -

"Our focus was on the 1950's era and these young guys truly added to a memorable evening for our guests. In addition to the great music, they dressed the part for a band of that time period. We felt like we had gone back in time. Every band member was courteous and personable."

"They are a truly talented group of musicians who know how to entertain!"

"I could feel the energy coming off of the stage."

 

Not-so-quiet in the Library. 

Last Friday, (September 26th,) we played a show at the Boone County Library. Now, I know what you're thinking... "Did you guys switch to acoustic folk rock!?" Don't worry. We still play 1950's rock and roll and rockabilly. In fact, we were surprised to see a beautiful stage and pleased with the fantastic welcome we got in regards to our first year playing at the Boone County Library. Here's some video evidence of the event.

Kickstarter goal reached! 

We've hit our Kickstarter goal! Thanks to so many people who pledged at the $50 level... And a special thanks to Patrick Cunningham for finishing off our minimum goal by donating nearly $300. Needless to say, we were awe-struck by this. We'll be back in the studio soon to finish up! 

Meanwhile, you can still pre-order our album and receive the digital copy as soon as it comes out. If you like 50's rock and roll, you'll like this album.

Pre-order here!

Our home in Charleston. 

We have a home in Charleston. It's called Prohibition. The food is insanely good, the bartenders know their stuff and the owner promotes culture - Dancing and good music. He even has a 1950's rock and roll band called Keith Jones and the Makeshifts play as a preface to club-dancing. It makes for an interesting, but good time. On Sunday night, though, we play for Stephen Duane, who teaches and puts on swing dances at Prohibition and also puts us up while we're in town. Here are some pictures -



On the road!

Early show set up - Because we're punctual and that's how we roll.


New suits for the Non-Keiths!

After-show waffle house death.

Derrr!



Until next time!
-Keith

Our music.. and some swing dancers... on the news! In Charleston! 

Stephen Duane from Charleston, SC, (one of our long time supporters and a great dancer,) gave me some info on a TV show there that we might be able to play on. We didn't get to play on it, but something pretty cool happened anyway. Charleston gave a 1950's rock and roll band from Cincinnati a chance to share our version of a Bill Haley song with their city, along with some great dancing. Take a look.

 


WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

SwingColumbus! 

There are things I like about every swing dance and every swing dancing scene that we play for. I have to say, though, SwingColumbus gets a lot of things right, such as their energy, openness to newcomers, consistent scene growth and their support of live music.

About 4 years ago, we played at our first SwingColumbus event on a Tuesday. At that time, we were pretty new, and their scene was much smaller. This was pre-sax, and sometimes pre-upright bass, depending on who I could get. They had a venue called The Shrunken Head with a pretty small dance floor and two big steel support pillars that got in the way. We played for the small but loving group several times, but the Shrunken Head eventually replaced their event with Karaoke because it brought in more drinkers.

I have to say that I was somewhat surprised last year when we were asked to play again and over a hundred people turned out. Keep in mind, this is a weekday and there's a cover charge. Not only was I impressed that the organizers kept us in mind after a couple years, but I was also impressed with the immense support of swing dancing and live music that they had generated. Wednesday (8/6/14) was no different. After the show was over, I was informed that we had 130 people. 

Now, I have to say that I'm not only happy at the growth because I love swing dancers and swing dancing. I'm also happy because they're giving people something to do that's fun, takes skill and physical endurance and is something other than drinking to excess. They're combatting the white-washing and one dimensionalism that is so often disguised as counter-culturalism currently... But before I go too far with this, here are some pictures by Doug Kaufman and Tony Bentivegna.




                                                           Our ever-present logo.
 
                                                     This seems to be us.



                                                    Some of the fine dancers on that evening.


Also, thanks to the SwingColumbus committee for everything, and to Mark Calkins for keeping a strong line of communication open with me.

-- For some more 50's rock and roll from Cincinnati, go check out our music page for a little sneak peak of our album. We have two songs posted right now, but we're still working on the album, with your help of course.  Take a look at our Kickstarter! We're 20% there already.

Kickstarter!

Lots of love,
KJ and the Makeshifts
 

The Creation of an Album 

We're currently working on an album - And not just any album, but our first album. We've been together for a little bit now, and we've been blessed to meet a bunch of cool people and supporting fans through nothing but word of mouth and a minor web-presence. While that's all well and good, it's time to immortalize something. 

We're facing a couple struggles when it comes to the production of our album,but the biggest barrier is money. It would be done in two weeks if we had the money to do it, but with all of the band bills (vehicle maintenance, website, promotional costs, gas, etc,) as well as all of our own personal bills and families that need to be taken care of, it's difficult to set aside enough for recording time.

As much as we hate to ask our fans for things, we feel that it's a necessity to create a KickStarter. Money that's raised will go directly toward the CD, and backers of certain amounts will be the first to receive the songs at no additional cost. Without the help of the fans, these recordings could take an additional year to finish, so thanks in advance.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1952274883/keith-jones-and-the-makeshifts-cd-0

 
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Private Party

 

50th Anniversary Party

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Nov14

Cincinnati Lindy Exchange Monthly Dance

Molly Malone's Covington, 112 E. 4th St, Covington, KY

 

Free dance lesson with 8$ admission - KJ and the Makeshifts start at 9.

Learn to swing dance from the city's best.

$8 - Includes swing dance lesson. Age limit: 18+

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Feb15

The Oakley Daddy Daughter Dance

 

More details to come!

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