Like it did for me, reading this 11 Questions interview with Jon Reynolds with introduce you to both an exciting new Nashville artist as well as some other fascinating musicians with whom he has worked. The title of the upcoming debut EP from Jon Reynolds & the Aches, “Petrichor,” also added one of the coolest new words ever to my vocabulary. (You’ll have to look it up and you will be glad you did!)
As for his music, Jon writes smart pop songs set to a smooth modern sound with echoes of a classic retro feel. (Think good 80’s stuff.) So, go ahead and hear it for yourself by giving a listen to his current single “Leather Jacket.” Once hearing it, I immediately gave in to its rock-steady beat and let it take the prize for the first song of 2021 to dazzle my hungry post-holiday ears.
I thank Jon for playing my 11 Questions game and am hopeful that I will get to see him play live on the other side of this current nastiness. Happy 2021 to all!
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I am originally from Tulsa, OK. I moved to Norman, OK to attend the University of Oklahoma when I was 18 and study political science. I stuck around for an MPA but decided to pursue music after I graduated. I picked up and moved everything, including my new wife, to Nashville in 2014. Music was the foundational reason, but we both wanted to start our lives in a new place where we could really experience new people and ideas. We decided we wanted to move out of Oklahoma on October 3, 2013. We were living in Nashville by January 4, 2014. I only came here once to check it out in between, but I knew it was the right place the second I got here.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
I didn’t buy much music as a kid. I grew up in a religious household where Christian music was very common, but let’s just say that music didn’t inspire the desire to buy. I think the idea of curating my own music didn’t really occur to me until I was in my mid-teens when downloading was becoming a thing. That being said, the first bit of music I really remember going out and getting for myself was The Killers. I had
listened to Hot Fuss because my sisters had it, but Sam’s Town was probably the first I went looking for. It was a digital purchase for sure. My most recent buy, oddly enough, were a couple of old 45’s of James Taylor and Simon & Garfunkel from a vintage shop here in Nashville. I’ve found that old 45’s are the way to go when wanting to collect original releases of old records.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
Well the first official concert (barring local people and small clubs) I went to was The Black Keys at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. It’s still one of the best shows I’ve been to. At the time, I had no idea I would be living in the same city as them with odd connections here and there. The last live concert feels like forever ago because of the virus. The last major concert I went to was Maggie Rogers at the Ryman. That was a really fun show, and the Ryman is such an amazing venue.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Devon Gilfillian. I opened up for Devon years ago, right before he signed his deal. We still run in similar circles, so I see him from time to time. He is a great musician, a kind man, and true Nashvillian.
Billy Ray Cyrus. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Braison Cyrus for a few years now, and I can say the Cyrus’s are Nashville people. Billy Ray has real roots here and has done truly amazing things in the crossover music genre.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Five Points Pizza (East) is my pizza joint. It’s the best in town, but I don’t have to tell that to anyone who lives here. My hack is to get the Stromboli. It’s just as good as the pizza at half the price! It also doesn’t hurt to have a friend or two that work there. I’ve recently changed up my coffee joint. Originally, it was Steadfast Coffee in Germantown. Then it was Bongo Java, which I still go to on Sundays for their board games. (I’m an old man at heart and love Rummikub.) Now, I live a little further deep east, and my regular shop is Portland Brew East. I walk over a few times a week. They have done a great job of adapting in the pandemic. Their coffee is fantastic and super cheap. I also get myself one of their massive zucchini muffins from time to time as well.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
In all honesty, my friend Matt Belmont wrote and recorded his first EP here in Nashville, and it is my favorite thing to happen in this city. He wrote it with Femke Reynolds, who also produced. It’s an amazing body of work which launched his career with Belle MT. He now opens for Kaleo and is doing fantastic work. That little record had no frills or big backing. It was everything Nashville is about. He took a chance on a producer and created a great piece of art from the heart. I believe he tactfully named it EP 1.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
I’m not deviating from the Nashville script here at all. Dino’s is the joint. Even as a vegetarian, I still go there late at night either after my shows or anyone else’s show. The fries kill me. The quesadillas are so solid. The beer is cheap. The people are a riot.
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Ben Cramer (Old Sea Brigade), Henry Brill and Femke Reynolds. I could give breakdowns of each one of these people, but, seriously, just look them up. Their work speaks for themselves. Each one of them is amazing in what they create. Ben keeps releasing amazing records for himself and for people he produces.
Henry wrote the entire Jack Garratt record that came out last year. Femke is a legend and has more credits than I can count.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
3rd and Lindsley is always a good time. Always a good crowd. The 5 Spot is just a staple place to perform. Has a very old school, built-in scene that feels very local Then there are house shows. I say this because some of the best music lovers in the world live in Nashville. I have both enjoyed performing and attending these less formal events where you can have a really close connection with the people around you. I never pass up an opportunity to perform in a home.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.
There are a lot of musicians I have written with that I would love to see move here. It’s hard to choose one. If I am being 100% honest and completely biased, I would have to say Matt Belmont. I have been working on getting him here for the last few years, but next year we might actually see it happen. He works here a lot and would bring some pop weight to the city. Other than that, I don’t know. Jungle, I suppose would be cool! I just want to see them more though.
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
Well, my EP, Petrichor, comes out January 22, 2021. I’m so excited to put this out for everyone to enjoy. It has years of work put into it, which is weird to think about, but it’s a piece of work that feels authentically me. I have a tune I co-wrote on Braison Cyrus’s new album that will be coming out next year. Be on the lookout for that album. It’s got amazing folk music sewn into it. Until touring comes back, I will simply
be recording my next EP. I’ve already got demos recorded for some of the tunes and am writing more songs every week. In between, be on the lookout for acoustic versions of Petrichor. I’ll be doing some fun collaborations with a few of the friends I’ve mentioned throughout this interview.