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The Bones of J.R. Jones

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Biography

Born and raised in central New York, in a house at the end of a long dirt road, J.R. started dabbling in music when he was six and his mother mandated – as she did with his older and younger brothers – that he take piano lessons. A self-taught guitar and banjo player, J.R.’s fondness for old gospel hymns, bluesmen like Son House and R.L. Burnside, and artists like The Carter Family and Tom Waits, helped shape his sound, which has been described as “haunting stomp blues tempered with a touch of honey.”

Growing up the middle of three brothers, J.R.’s childhood developed in him a strong sense of home and yearning to return to it – despite being shot in the back by his blood brother with a BB gun – the pellet is still nestled comfortably behind his ribs to this day.

J.R. pulls from a constellation of sensory experiences “the smell of being in an apple orchard first thing in the morning, the sound of boots on old wood floorboards, the feeling of falling asleep to the hum of a fan in the summer, early autumn in the country” that inspire and inform his music.

With a musical style that adeptly toes the line between folky and sorrowful lullabies to dirty, grainy, blues-influenced songs, J.R.’s voice communicates a level of intimacy and passion that carries with it a quiet sense of loss, yearning, and wanting.

Performing on stage with a kick drum, high-hat, and guitar/banjo (as well as the occasional harmonica and kazoo) J.R.’s live shows are visually impressive – a powerful and dynamic display that showcases his musical and emotional range.

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