The Bones of J.R. Jones

The Bones of J.R. Jones

Will Dailey

Thu 6/14

7:30 pm

$10.00 - $12.00

The Bones of J.R. Jones
The Bones of J.R. Jones
Something happens to J.R. Linaberry. It's hard to put your finger on it, but when the

musician takes the stage, surrounded by his many instruments, suddenly creating sound,

projecting noise, drumming up long-gestating emotions, you know he's transformed; a

sense of purpose and poise envelops the air. "It's very easy to be a different person when

it comes to this project," says Linaberry, who performs and completely inhabits the

persona of the early-twentieth-century blues musician, The Bones of J.R. Jones. "For me

it's an outlet more than anything else."

It's via the live show that The Bones of J.R. Jones has established itself as a spellbinding

musical force: there's Linaberry, all by his lonesome, playing several instruments –

guitar, banjo, bass drum, high-hat – all at once, transforming any setting, no matter how

visibly modern, into an old-time roadside juke joint. Now, over several years performing,

the traveling troubadour has refined his craft so poignantly as to craft a batch of highly

refined, barn-burning blues and folk numbers. They take the form of Dark Was The

Yearling, The Bones of J.R. Jones' mesmerizing new LP.

The first full-length effort, both jarring and meditative in its juxtaposition of snarling

electric guitar licks ("Fury of the Light"), banjo backbeats ("St. James' Bed") and

acoustic charm ("The Plan"), is bookended by twin takes on the foot-stomping "Dreams

to Tell."

"That songs never gets old to me," says Linaberry. "I felt like the album needed two

versions of it... for better or worse." The album's highlight however, is undoubtedly

"The Dark," a somber ode to the musician's late grandfather. The harmonic hymnal,

written in the hours following the passing of a man whom Linaberry describes as "very

much the patriarch" of his family, ended up shaping the entirety of the album, "giving it a

much more heavier sound near the end of it.

"That was one of those rare instances that a song did come out in 24 hours," Linaberry

says of "The Dark." "And it really hasn't changed since then."

Crafted by Linaberry over the past year and half following the release of 2012's The

Wildness EP, Dark Was The Yearling, a 12-track collection, was born out of a gradual,

introspective writing and recording process. Penning music, the musician explains, is a

art form he finds is best never rushed by preconceived expectations or false expectations.

"I'm not one of those artists who can sit down and write a song a day," he says. "I wish it

happened more but it can't be forced."

Linaberry first developed a deep-seeded love for classic folk and blues — the sort best

exemplified by early torchbearers like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lightnin' Hopkins —

15 years ago after being given a collection of albums entitled "American Roots Music"

by his father. He subsequently fully immersed himself in it. "It reshaped my musical

landscape," says Linaberry, whose upstate New York upbringing upstate found him

deeply entrenched in the local hardcore punk-rock scene. "What made me fall in love

with the punk scene, I heard again in those records," he offers. "And I haven't turned


The idea and promise of timeless music, the kind uncontaminated by passing trend, was

greatly appealing to Linaberry. In old-time folk and blues he found "something so

precious that you care for. I don't know where it's going," he adds, but I will always be

moving in this direction and falling in love with these songs and finding new artists that I

can relate to."

The Bones of J.R. Jones is an ever-evolving project — one that Linaberry will continue

to spread via his mesmerizing live shows. Don't expect to see him with other musicians

anytime soon. Performing solo, he says, "became a matter of necessity for me to reach

what I felt was an accurate portrait of what I wanted to represent."

"For me my biggest fear with doing a one-man band is it would become a gimmick," he

offers. "Like 'Oh, he's the one-man band guy.' I've put those reservations aside and fully

embraced it."
Venue Information:
Bourbon and Branch
705 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19123

Leave a Reply