a little back story
Jonathan lives in Anchorage, AK, where he works full-time as an unpaid chauffeur for his two sons. When relieved of these duties, he works as a gigging musician and freelance writer, and periodically teaches Creative Writing classes for the English department at the University of Alaska.
In 2012, Jonathan released his first collection of songs in a decade - an EP titled but so beautiful, produced with Anchorage's Evan Phillips (The Whipsaws; Easton Stagger Phillips). On its release, the Anchorage Press wrote, “[This is] masterful storytelling. These songs weave beautiful, forlorn tales in a matter of minutes, but with a defiant note of hope.”
His follow-up, the full-length album Hope, Alaska, arrived in 2014 and was met with a wave of good reviews and welcome opportunities, cementing JJB's decision to write and record songs following a ten year hiatus. The Kickstarter for this outing concluded at almost 120% above his projected goal. Following this successful crowdsourcing effort, the record earned Jonathan the A&E cover story for the Anchorage Press, appearances on CBS-affiliate, KTVA, and a seat as the featured artist for local NPR station, KNBA's "Alaska Music Spotlight."
And he's kept busy in the in between time.
In 2016, Jonathan contributed two election-themed, weekly "mix tape" music columns for the Anchorage Press weekly - "Coping Skills, vol. 1-8" and "Songs for the Darkest Time of Year, vol. 1-4."
In January 2017, after wrapping the music column, he completed production on his next full-length album, Light Years, which released in late January 2018. After kicking around in a variety of experimental sounds and playing with the many many means of entering a song's story, Light Years proves his most straight ahead, accessible, and roots-based song cycle yet.
You can sample songs from his albums and unreleased works at his bandcamp account, Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and other outlets.
There's more - there always is - such as the new album in the works, for example, presently, temporarily delayed due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19, and the need for all involved to hunker down and quarantine. Here's to hoping this work continues soon, and the new record finds its audience after it finds a way to land in the world.
In the meantime, thanks for listening, and reading, and for supporting the music. It's all just pipe dreams and fantasies without all of us in the mix.
A few Favorite Things