Glenn Jones: The best guitarist you never heard of.The Boston Globe
- Glenn Jones — guitar
- Opening — Weeping Bong Band:
- Clark Griffin
- Wednesday Knudsen
- PG Six
- Anthony Pasquarosa
- Beverly Ketch
Glenn is a master of American Primitive Guitar, a style invented in the late 1950s by John Fahey, whose traditional fingerpicking techniques and wide-ranging influences were used to create modern original compositions. Jones, who led the post-rock ensemble Cul de Sac, brings his own made-up tunings, the use of custom-crafted partial capos, and a highly skilled picking style on both banjo and guitar, to create personal compositions that are lyrical, emotive and elegant. What sets him apart from the myriad guitarists playing today is his ability to tell stories with the guitar and banjo, and to convey a range of emotions. This process starts with the compositions themselves and carries through to his selection of recording environment and engineer.
Jones turned away from standard tuning years ago, inventing tunings as a way of escaping the known. The pieces he writes in these tunings are his way of navigating new and unfamiliar landscapes. “But it’s my hope,” he says, “that what you hear are not the tunings and partial capos and all that, but the music — the feeling within these pieces.”
…an incredibly adept fingerstyle guitarist whose technique always remains in service of the song… His vigorous leaps are daring but never reckless, and nearly always sublime.Keith Goetzman, Utne Reader
To date, Jones has issued six full-length solo albums, many of which have made several critics’ year-end “best of” lists. His most recent were Fleeting (2016), Waterworks (2017), and An Idea in Everything (2017), a collaboration album with Chris Corsano and David Greenberger.
Jones has written extensively about the leading lights of the American Primitive guitar style, namely John Fahey (with whom he was friends for nearly 25 years), and Robbie Basho (Jones was friends with the guitarist until Basho’s untimely death in 1986, and hosted the guitarist / singer’s final tour of the East Coast). He has written liner notes for five Fahey albums to date, including, notably, Fahey’s final album, Red Cross, and he produced Fahey’s posthumously issued 1968 live album, The Great Santa Barbara Oil Slick (Water) as well as a 1980 live recording by Robbie Basho, Bonn Ist Supreme (Bo’ Weavil) and the issue of demo recordings for Basho’s last solo guitar album, Twilight Peaks (Smeraldina-Rima). Jones also produced a massive five-CD box-set of John Fahey’s earliest recordings, Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (2011; Dust-to-Digital), which he worked on for 11 years. The album received rave reviews.
Glenn first began touring solo in 2003, opening for Jack Rose in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the UK. Jones guests on several of Jack’s albums, including his last, Luck in the Valley. The Things That We Used to Do, a DVD featuring hour-long solo sets from each artist, and a pair of duets, was issued in April 2010 (Strange Attractors). Jones’ latest project is The Thousand Incarnations of the Rose — An Introduction to American Primitive Guitar & Banjo, 1963-1974, a double LP / CD package for which he selected the tracks and wrote extensive liner notes. It’s slated for release in late 2017. Glenn’s most recent studio album for Thrill Jockey was released in 2018.
Photo of Glenn Jones by Jesse Sheppard
Opening – Weeping Bong Band
Allow yourself to be bathed in the tears of the bong. Their sweet flow will wash away all traces of your sins.Byron Coley, 2018
Three members — Clark Griffin, Wednesday Knudsen and PG Six — are in the current line-up of Pigeons. One, Anthony Pasquarosa, has his own host of solo projects (Crystaline Roses, Gluebag, Burnt Envelope, etc.). And a final “ghost member,” Beverly Ketch, is half of the duo Viewer. Together, however, theirs is a rural psych engine that weeps as gently as a spring rain.
This is high-provenance instrumental hippie spew from the apex of the Pioneer Valley. There’s plenty of burbling psych guitar, laced with overtones that will make you conjure up visions of dark stoned nights. It is definitely music made in the day when marijuana had passed its medical-use-only status in the Commonwealth. Which is not to infer this music is unimbued with its own mystical curing properties, especially when played at mind-bending volume.