The Bones of J.R. Jones Shares Song Crafted for Vinyl Con Man Movie 'Chasing the Blues': Premiere
Jonathon Linaberry, aka The Bones of J.R. Jones, has appreciated and played some authentic and even arcane blues for much of his music career. But he was asked to create some new blues for the new film Chasing The Blues -- including the track "My My My," premiering exclusively below.
The film, which begins rolling into theaters Oct. 5 (with a soundtrack album out Oct. 1), stars Grant Rosenmeyer and Ron Connor as rival vinyl collectors trying to con an elderly woman (Anna Maria Horsford's Mrs. Walker) out of a rare but reportedly cursed blues record from the 1930s. (Jon Lovitz plays a disgruntled government official who gets involved in the chase.) The song, "O Death, Where is Thy Sting," needed to be created, of course, which the filmmakers charged to Linaberry.
"I guess they heard my music on a TV show or something, but they reached out and sent me the script and I thought it was great," Linaberry tells Billboard. "We brainstormed some feelings and ideas and what they were looking for, and I took it from there. We created something special, I think."
Linaberry drew on the initial blues he connected with as a college student, when a classmate's Blind Lemon Jefferson song "stopped me in my tracks." "I hesitate to use the word 'easy,'" Linaberry says about writing "O Death...," but sometimes you get a bug and you feel like you're just vibing off an idea. I was fortunate enough that this one came pretty easily -- they're not always like that, by any measure. But this one I wrote which I was on the road, which I never do. I had some down time while I was in L.A. and I was able to crank it out in the first 12 hours and spent the rest of the time refining it."
Two versions of "O Death" appear in Chasing The Blues, and Linaberry was asked to come up with three more songs for the soundtrack album, including "My My My." "I really appreciated it because it gave me a chance to step away from what I do -- even though under the Bones of J.R. Jones I'm not that constrained, either," he explains. "But with this (project) I could kind of move beyond what my show is about, so doing songs like 'My My My' or 'Don't Want to Sleep,' it's fun to run with it and not be too in my head about how it's going to be received by my audience or in the live show and whether they're going to be right for one of my records. It was kind of liberating."
As Chasing the Blues opens in the U.S., the Bones of J.R. Jones will be across the pond, starting a European tour on Oct. 11 in Germany that will run through Oct. 29. Upon his return Linaberry will play a New York show on Nov. 9 at the Mercury Lounge.