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An Interview with The Bones of J.R. Jones

Meet vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, Jonathon Linaberry. His newest album, “One to Keep Close” is out May 11th. We interviewed him in New York City wearing his Open Road.

We’re sure you get asked this a lot but what’s the story behind your name “The Bones of J.R. Jones?”

J.R. stands for Jon Robert.. my first and middle names.  The Bones came out of a desire to separate myself from the performance aspect of what I do. It gives me a change to be flexible with musicians, tone, and atmosphere without feeling totally tied to me personally.

Who are your musical influences?

That spans a great deal.  I truly believe all music is influenced by the good and bad.  I can be listening to something on the radio that I hate, but whether I like it or not it will inform what I do… even on a subconscious level.  But if we are talking about whom I hope to draw inspiration from… I fall back on a lot of older styles of music and musicians.  Early Springsteen, Tom Waits, Son House, R.L. Burnside, S.E. Rogie. At the moment I am really into that whole free-form jazz that came out of Ethiopia in the 70’s.

Do you have formal music education? How’d you get started?

I started taking piano lessons when I was 6, moved to guitar when I was 14.  I play a lot of punk rock in my teens, but when I went away to study art at college, I kind of gave up music for a stint.  I didn’t pick it back up seriously until 6 or years ago.

How do you describe your sound? Your style?

That’s always a tough question for me.  It’s a bit of mishmash of blues, garage rock, folk and soul.  My style is a bit of a free for all.  I try to pour as much energy as possible into what I do.  I try to make sure my performances are an experience.

How does Stetson fit into that style?

I’ve always coveted my grandfather’s Stetson hat.  It never quite fit me right.  He was a much larger man than me, but I always wanted that style.  He wore it so well.  I guess I’ve been chasing that since I was a boy.

What inspired this new album?

I really wanted to create an album that embodied a studio experience, something I’ve never had the luxury of doing.  I was fortunate that I was afforded that chance this go around.  So a lot of these songs were inspired out of that.  They were written with that in mind.

Which is your personal favorite track?

My favorite is currently “know my name”  It really does express the direction I want to take my music in.

What’s next?

Oh, I suppose whatever the road brings.  I suspect there will be a lot more touring, songwriting and the like.  I am hoping to grow beyond a solo project and have the ability to bring some great musicians on the road with me.

Follow @thebonesofjrjones. New album release Friday, May 11, 2018.