Artist Profile:  Lonesome Jones of Them Som’ Bitches

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By Ryan Meehan

If country and punk music got a little too drunk & cozy one night and had some bastard love children…those kids would be called Them Som’ Bitches.  A good timin’ band with a bit of a tongue and cheek approach, Them Som’ Bitches perform original outlaw country tunes with a batch of blues and rock covers and a few random surprises thrown in for kicks. They want you to have fun and dance, with some cheer in your beer & scoot in your boots!  The band formed in 2010, in Rock Island, IL, out of love for the outlaw/traditional country music from the good ole days. Founding members Lonesome Jones (vocals & acoustic guitar) and Paul “The Sheriff” Blomquist (drums) soon got help from their buddies Matt “Reverend” Carter (lead guitar) and Nicholas “Nick-Nack” Eyre (bass guitar) to fill out their sound. Playin’ with artists like Whitey Morgan & The 78’s, Sturgill Simpson, Jonny Corndawg, Chelsea Crowell, Goldenboy, and Rachel Brooke, while also holding the stage on their own, Them Som’ Bitches are out there tryin’ to make new fans and meet new friends.” Thankfully we can count ourselves among those outlaw companions, and that’s why we’re fucking delighted to have Lonesome Jones in the spotlight of our next artist profile.

RM:  How’s this summer been going for you so far? What’s your favorite jam that you’ve written since the snow done gone?

LJ: The summer has been great so far, we’ve gotten to do a lot of playing around town for some great crowds. Having written a few diddies since the defrost, I would have to say that “Jamcitytown” is my favorite new song.  It’s a jumpin’ little jam about bringing the fun that we have, to wherever we play.

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RM:  For those who might not be familiar with the genre, how you best describe “outlaw country”? Who are some of the artists which fall under that classification that have been a huge influence on you and the work you do with TSB?

LJ:   The outlaw country genre is the odd branch on the mainstream country family tree. It was formed in the 60’s and 70’s by artists like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams Jr. to get back to the roots of where their music came from, and away from the more produced softened sound of the country music of their day. These outlaws paved the way for artists like Hank Williams III, Wayne Hancock, Sturgill Simpson, Whitey Morgan & The 78’s and of course, Them Som’ Bitches.

RM:  Do you find you generally write lyrics first when composing new material, or that you come up with a riff and then add lyrics to the hook later on? How often do both of those things happen at the same time?

LJ:  I’d say that 75% of that time it’s the riff/melody first and lyrics second, although sometimes they come together at the same time.  Take our song “D.G.A.F.” for example, I wrote the lyrics and the music before I played a note. Which was pretty easy, considering the chords match the title.

RM:  What do we need to know about “The Sheriff”?  Which aspects of his personality are typical of someone who is generally the Rosco P. Coltrane of the group?

LJ:  “The Sheriff” is the law and order of the band. He’s in charge of wranglin’ up shows and keepin’ us grounded, as we are often hangin’ in the clouds.

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RM:  What can you tell us about the other two Som’Bitches that round out the group? What do each of them bring to the table that makes the band so unique to see live?

LJ:  Well, “Nick-Nack” brings the low down and dirty bass jams, and is usually in charge of our live sound.  And, “Reverend Carter” provides the icing on our cake, with his high energy lead guitar prowess, to compliment my nitty gritty style.

RM:  You do your fair share of freestylin’ during your sets…What is the inspiration for that portion of the show; and how often does what you’re saying at that exact moment reflect things that are going on in the crowd right in front of you? Could you give us a recent example of when you’ve spit something that’s on hit, legit, and full of wit?

LJ:  My use of freestyling during our show, comes from my love of hip-hop and blues music. I know, I know it’s kinda abnormal for the front dude of a country band to admit this, but to me all music is the same at the core, it either resonates with you or doesn’t. This is why we like to throw songs like “99 problems” by Jay-Z into our set.  From my experience, people seem to get a kick out of a dude in a cowboy hat rappin’. As far as an example, I’d have to say come to a show and you’ll see it unfold.

RM:  Why does modern country suck such superhuman sums of shitpipe? How are some of these major record labels that are so used to marketing pop music able to pass some of these artists off as “country” when they are Hollywood as hell?

LJ:  I think that modern mainstream country is just pop music with a hint of pedal steal guitar/fiddle/harmonica to lure in your average joe/jane. Like most popular music, it’s all about image nowadays and the music itself seems to be way down on the priority list. That’s why we like artists like Hank Williams III, who has the name/dynasty to sell out and do some pop country bullshit, but refuses to do it. In his own words “I’m here to put the “dick” in Dixie and the “cunt” back in country. ‘Cause the kind of country I hear now days is a bunch of fuckin’ shit to me…”

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RM:  How and when did you begin this bizarre affinity for assigning nicknames to everyone you meet?

LJ:  Almost as soon as I could speak. hehe. I blame Dr. Seuss for my word addiction!

RM:  Do you ever think that you will have a full-time pedal or lap steel guitar player as a permanent member of the band?

LJ:  Yes, that is our plan. We’ve had people sit in and play it with us live, but it’s gonna take some extra work to put it into the mix permanently. We’d also like to add some fiddle down the road.

RM:  You seem to have a very vast array of hats…Which is your favorite and why? How do you justify wearing a goddamned fedora to a country show?

LJ:  I’m partial to my straw cowboy hat, for shows, because it’s so lite and easy.  The german fedora was for a show at The Bier Stube celebrating Oktoberfest, so it fit the night and my head (barely).  Like I’ve said before, hats are just wigs that people don’t judge (most of the time)!

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RM:  What’s so special about PBR that makes it the preferred drink of choice for Them Som’ Bitches and all of your fans?

LJ:  PBR is true blue! They go down nice and easy, and you can drank a ton of ’em without payin’ a lot. We’re takin’ it back from the hipsters! ‘Merica!

RM:  What’s up next for you guys in the remainder of 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?

LJ:  Welp, we are playin’ all over as much as possible while we’re working on our new full length record, that’s set to drop at the beginning of 2016.  We are also lookin’ to get some deals goin’ that might get our name out on a national level. More info on that coming soon!

Official Website:  http://themsombitches.com/

Them Som’ Bitches on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TSBcountry

Once again thanks again for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.

Meehan

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