INTERVIEW: Derek Jones

In 2010, Hartford City, Indiana’s own singer-songwriter, Derek Jones, packed his bags, headed south to Nashville and never looked back. The move followed Jones’ service in the United States Navy from 1999 to 2003. With gritty, grizzled powerhouse vocals, bold songwriting talent and a dynamic live show, Jones began filling bars and honky tonks throughout the country and building a loyal fanbase. Jones has also established a name for himself as a songwriter with his cuts receiving placement on the Sportsman Channel series “Tailgate Adventures” and selection as the theme song for “Fisher’s ATV World” on the Velocity Channel and NBC Sports Network. Jones has had the privilege of sharing the stage with a variety of revered acts, including Billy Ray Cyrus, Alabama, Charlie Daniels, Trace Adkins, David Allan Coe, Shooter Jennings, Dwight Yoakam, Blackberry Smoke, Ted Nugent and Jamey Johnson, among others. Only five years after moving to Nashville, Jones was invited to step into “The Circle” and duet with Cyrus at the Grand Ole Opry. That same year, he had the honor of performing “Some Gave All” alongside Cyrus at Charlie Daniels’ 40th anniversary Volunteer Jam at Bridgestone Arena. Jones also sang “Some Gave All” with Cyrus on national television during an episode of NBC’s “TODAY Show.” The independent artist’s 2018 sophomore EP, Pray, topped the Amazon Charts at No. 1 and landed at No. 7 on the iTunes Charts. Jones is set to release his follow-up EP, Everybody’s Somebody, this fall with the title track dropping on July 10.

1. Hi Derek, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been great. Thank you for reaching out to talk about my music. I appreciate it!

2. Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Everybody’s Somebody”?
This is a song I wrote last year in Muscle Shoals, AL with a great songwriter and friend by the name of James LeBlanc. With everything going on in this country today, this song is very fitting.

3. Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
While the song isn’t based on any specific event, sitting in FAME Recording Studios, where we wrote this song, it’s hard to not be inspired with all the legends that have recorded here.

4. Any plans to release any sort of a video for the track?

Yes, we are working on a lyric video that will be out shortly after the single’s release on July 10th.

5. Why are you naming the album after this song in particular?
I think the title “Everybody’s Somebody” is a powerful and timeless message.

6. How was the recording and writing process?
As I mentioned earlier, I wrote this with James LeBlanc last year when we were both playing the WC Handy Songwriters Festival in Muscle Shoals. James and I got to talking about the division between people on the basis of things like race, politics, money, age, etc. and that we are more alike than we are different. I said, “Man, my mom told me something I’ve always tried to live by – Everybody’s Somebody,” and James goes, “That’s it! That’s the song!”  I agreed and within an hour, we had it done. I called up Chris Condon at Lust For Tones Studio in Nashville to see what he thought about the song, and he loved it. He brought in some crazy talented session players and produced this single. I’m very proud of the final product!

7. What role does Hartford City play in your music?
It plays a HUGE role. I write the majority of my music with Hartford City in mind. I love any chance I get to play my hometown because they’ve always had my back, and it’s very important to me to always remember where I came from!

8. Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
People. People are my inspiration, all kinds of people. If I pay attention, I’m constantly surrounded by inspiration.

9. Any plans to hit the road?
I certainly hope so! Like everyone else in this business, all of our 2020 calendars went to hell in a handbasket for sure… ha! I’m actually back on the road in a few weeks and I can’t wait to get back at it! We’ve done a bunch of livestream acoustic shows, but it’s definitely not close to the same thing as a live event in-person.

10. What else is happening next in Derek Jones’ world?
I’ll be releasing a 5-song EP this fall and hitting the road to salvage what we can of 2020 and booking for 2021. I’m headed back to Nashville in the next couple weeks to get back in the studio and record some more new material. I’m excited about this music and for what the future has in store!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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