The Bones of J.R. Jones: On The Undeniable Pull of Vinyl

I remember reading a quote somewhere about taking vinyl home and having to live with it.

What struck me about the quote was the concept of "living" with what was just basically a vehicle for recorded music. What a strong sentiment.

You never hear anyone talk about living with their mp3's, CDs, or whatever. It's a romantic notion for sure and it makes sense when you really start to break down what a vinyl record means.

Vinyl could be your best friend or worst ex. It forces you to engage with it. To pay attention to it. And because you are forced to interact with it, I think people are more acute to the experiences created by it.

The recordings hold a profound resonance. Sad songs seem sadder. Soul songs seems deeper. How could you not fall in love with that?

My first vinyl love was Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA. I still think it's an epic album, which is pretty amazing considering I was two when that record came out. I remember my dad setting that record up for me on his turntable and placing those over-sized brown headphones on my head. That record changed my life.

The heart break of this story is that I can't tell you where the record is today. I could tell you exactly how the cover looked with all it's wear, creases, and smushed corners. I could even tell you how it smelled. But unfortunately It was loss in the shuffling of moving and growing out of old habits only to fall back in to them years later.

Today, I have a meager record collection and broken turntable. A combination of lack of space and funds has limited me in my purchases.

I do have a few choice titles I adopted from my father's record collection. I even have some old 45s from the jukebox we had growing up, even though I don't really have the means to play them (Rolling Stones, Paint it Black. The Doors, Light my Fire. The Troggs, Light my Fire…. To name a few).

It's silly, but even with no space and a broken record player I still find myself buying records, mainly old blues and soul records. Son House, Robert Johnson, Skip James, they are all waiting for me. And I can't wait to put my headphones on and hear what they have to say.

Check out this video for The Bones of J.R. Jones "Hearts Racing"

The Bones of J.R. Jones is the brainchild of Jonathan Linaberry. Linaberry performs and completely inhabits the persona of the early-twentieth-century blues musician, The Bones of J.R. Jones. “For me it’s an outlet more than anything else.” His new EP Dark Was the Yearling, is out now. More at

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