J.R. Jones is a peculiar grassroots artist who has been dazzling intrigued fans over the years with a gritty bluesy approach that is truly captured through his gripping songs and powerful live performances. Learning the ropes from the influence of RL Burnside, Tom Waits and The Carter Family, the self-taught Brooklyn-based musician has welded a defining style that is haunting yet delightful. Performing under the name The Bones Of J.R. Jones, his forthcoming effort, Dark Was The Yearling, is a unique entity that captures the soothing spirit of folk with an introspective variety.
Jones captivates listeners with a series of arrangements throughout that spontaneously alternate back and forth with a blissful mixture of essential folk delivery that leaves a wondrous impression for you to linger upon. Because of Jones’ eccentric sound, it could be difficult to fit his music into one category.
“Dreams To Tell” starts and ends this release with a fascinating reprise that draws you in with a barren Westernized sensation that leads into the rocking chords and toe-tapping thrill of the leading single “Good Friend Of Mine.” Transitioning from a raw and ironically eerie setting conveyed within the first half of the record, we are also introduced to angelic ballads like “The Dark,” “Fury Of The Light” and “The Plan” that touch upon themes of yearning desires and prolonged wanting.
Dark Was The Yearling is an interesting outlet that captures the grotesquely exciting aspects of blues and folk that have been championed by Jones’ precursors. With a heartfelt lyrical prose that invites you with a desolate and powerful tone, this is an essential album that keeps you at the edge of your seat. By embracing diverse and vibrant elements of folk and blues throughout the musical interpretation of Dark Was The Yearling is loosely based on the listener’s imagination.