Originally published in Third Coast Review.
Jonathon Linaberry, otherwise known as The Bones of JR Jones, doesn’t get to explore the cities he tours much just yet. But he’ll be in Chicago for just under two days, beginning Sunday, for his stop at the intimate Schubas Tavern. Linaberry will bring to the venue – which always feels to me like my own living room – determination. And that’s exactly what he aims to evoke when he performs for the diverse Chicago audience.
The Catskills of New York and the deserts of the Southwest are what influence blues singer Jonathon’s compositions. It’s “how out of sorts it makes me feel,” he said.
Although Linaberry doesn’t make it a heavy focus to tell a story in his writing, he said he hopes it’s the rawness of his writing that translates strongly when listening. And he succeeds.
He described music videos that seem to share a narrative, such as “Ticket Home,” as his way of just conveying fun in writing, and the backyard feeling of those Catskills.
Schubas Tavern has a way of capturing and showcasing artists whose sounds are raw anyway, and for whom determination is a prevailing theme. The venue is cozy, allowing musicians and audiences alike to feel the exchange of secrets.
This lack of distance will provide a literal platform for one-man band Linaberry to present to his audience what perhaps an eight-minute-long video wouldn’t. But we will just have to see for ourselves.