Photography by April Valencia featuring Lisa Przystup and Jonathon Linaberry.
Americana blues musician The Bones of J.R. Jones nee Jonathon Linaberry and his wife Lisa Przystup split their time between Brooklyn and the Catskills but find the desert to be their most satisfying reset button. The couple has a soft spot for the saguaro’s of Tucson but also have a history with Joshua Tree—married for three years, they spent their honeymoon there and those nighttime drives in the desert were the inspiration behind J.R.’s forthcoming EP of desert songs. This summer they set aside time to enjoy a stretch of days there with the intent of sitting in the vast quiet of the desert and filling in the blanks of a handful of songs.
“I already had the foundation for the songs but really felt like I needed to return to the desert to realign and get them where they needed to be,” said J.R.
Przystup, a writer currently working on a project of her own was also hankering for the creative space the desert affords.
“There’s something about the haunted dusty emptiness, the dry heat and the overwhelming stars that get me in a focused and contemplative headspace—a space that’s just so tough to find in the city.”
This carved out space is exactly where Jonathon was able to test the mettle of his songs and see if they fit in the landscape and feel of the place they were inspired by.
“The idea of these songs originated here but I wrote and the recorded the demos upstate and in Brooklyn. This was the first time I was able to listen to the groundwork I had laid back east in the setting that made them possible. Being able to play them here and work out some kinks made all the difference.”
So much of the trip was about tapping into inspiration—something Jon and Lisa find in each other on a daily basis—and something that their good friend and photographer April Valencia’s work provides them with as well. The couple took a break to run around the desert with their pal and snap some shots in and around Joshua Tree park.