My grandfather and I share the same initials except his were only the letters J B Smith. So, when filling out official forms he would write, “J (only) B (only).” So, the band is named after his nickname, Jonly Bonly. I’m allowed to be sentimental” - Jason Smith.
When guitarist/vocalist/musicologist Jason Smith first turned up in Austin a few years ago, he was pretty hard to ignore. For starters, you could see his blonde hair from outer space. Then there’s his fashion savvy —- in a town full of schulbs, it’s not hard to come off like a style maven, but Jason puts in the superior effort anyway. But both of those things greatly pale in comparison to his guitar playing.
Through Smith’s tenures in the OBN III’s and playing alongside Orville Neeley and The Flesh Lights’ Max Vandever in the modestly-named The Best, Jason long ago established himself as a rock/pop/punk/whatever virtuoso, a devastatingly great soloist, yet a wildly inventive rhythm player with a razor-like focus on service-to-the-song.
In late 2012, Neeley left town for an extended stint with Bad Sports and Smith found himself with no gigs or rehearsals to soak up time otherwise spent giving dancing clinics. And with that, Jonly Bonly was formed ; Smith spent that winter break composing a pile of new power pop classics that guitar prowess aside, bore little resemblance to his work alongside Andrew Cashen in OBN III’s. Austin gigs throughout 2013 & ’14 with the crack rhythm section of bassist Stephen Svacina (Sweet Talk, Uptown Bums) and drummer Marley Jones (OBN III’s, ex-Sweet Talk) unveiled a ridiculously talented trio far too dynamic to be relegated to side-project status.
‘Put Together’, recorded during this year and last with the assistance of Neeley —- in addition to sessions at Denton, TX’s Cool Devices with Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke (Marked Men, Radioactivity) has all the wit and swagger anybody who’s watched Smith in action has come to expect. And if you’re wondering, that he’s not even close to peaking is not an acceptable excuse for sleeping on this audacious debut album.
(FIRST 100 ON CLEAR VINYL W/ BLACK SWIRLS - YES, THIS IS A REAL THING)
(INCLUDES DOWNLOAD CODE)