The Bones of J.R. Jones/Goodnight, Texas
Doors open at 7 pm.
THE BONES OF J.R. JONES: When Jonathon Robert Linaberry needs a break from city life, he goes Upstate, near the Catskills, to renovate a little farmhouse he purchased a couple of years back. As he pours himself into his work, J.R. doesn’t think about texts, email, or even his music, which he performs solo under the moniker The Bones Of J.R. Jones. His only focus is the house.
“That’s been an amazing emotional outlet for me,” he says of his periodic retreats. “To kind of sustain myself after coming from the road and getting back into the grind of the city, to have this, for lack of a better term, Shangri-La.”
In a sense, recording and touring as The Bones Of J.R. Jones is its own form of isolation. But you wouldn’t immediately think so: As a one-man band, J.R.’s project, which fuses a moody blend of soul, blues, roots, and Americana, sounds enormous both on record and live in concert. That’s because J.R. plays—and has grown accustomed to playing—every instrument by himself.
He’s happy to report, though, that he’s a lot less solitary on his recently released third full-length album, Ones To Keep Close. In addition to workshopping the 11-track album with producer and good friend Rob Niederpruem at Hyperballad Music in Brooklyn, J.R. also called on soul-psych luminary Nicole Atkins, who guests on the album’s jangly lead single, “Burden.” To read more go to http://thebonesofjrjones.com/story-
GOODNIGHT, TEXAS: Conventional wisdom says the two frontmen of a band shouldn’t live on opposite sides of the United States, but that's never seemed to deter Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf.
Goodnight, Texas is a band whose strength lies in unexpected sweet spots. Drawing their name from Pat and Avi’s onetime geographic midpoint (the real town of Goodnight in the State of Texas, a tiny hamlet east of Amarillo), the four-piece also exists at the center of its songwriters’ contrasting styles — via a 1913 Gibson A mandolin and a 2015 Danelectro, at the crossroads of folk and blues and rock ‘n’ roll, in a place where dry wit and dark truths meet hope and utmost sincerity.
Conductor is GNTX’s third full-length. It’s ambitious, dynamic, and more electrically inclined than 2012’s A Long Life of Living or 2014’s Uncle John Farquhar, carrying the listener from barn-burner to soul-searcher to banjo ballad and back again, all built on a powerful foundation from bassist Scott Griffin Padden and drummers Alex Nash and Kyle Caprista. It’s a record colored by grief, confusion, joy, the weight of the world: in the four years since the band’s last release, they lost Pat’s dad, Avi’s grandfather, and Scott’s mom. Pat and his wife had a baby boy. Alex became a professional baseball umpire. Britain left the EU and Donald Trump is the president of the United States.
But Conductor is, more accurately, a record about turning points — personal, political, musical, global — and their possibilities. A Long Life of Living drew inspiration from the Civil War and Appalachia; Uncle John Farquhar, from family lore, in the midwest in the late 1800s. Conductor wanders through the American Southwest in the early decades of the 20th century. It’s a moment when the United States has claimed the land from sea to shining sea, poised to become the world power, a great furnace of both progress and destruction. Electricity is coming into its own. The world’s population is about to explode. Against a backdrop of desert sunsets from a century ago, these songs exist on a precipice — as do their creators, as does the listener, as do we all. -Emma Silvers https://hiwearegoodnighttexashowareyou.com