Glenn Jones
Glenn Jones

Glenn Jones

About Glenn Jones

First known as a member of the trail-blazing experimental rock group Cul de Sac, which he co-founded at the beginning of the '90s, Glenn Jones went on to become one of the foremost American Primitive guitarists of the early 21st century. After making his solo debut with 2004's This Is the Wind That Blows It Out, he refined and expanded his style on subsequent albums, incorporating banjo on 2009's Barbecue Bob in Fishtown and more experimental tunings on albums like 2013's My Garden State.

Inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Jones started playing guitar at age 14, opening the door on what would be a decades-long journey into inventive and exploratory sounds. He mainly played acoustic guitar, and discovered the work of John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and other acoustic fingerstyle guitarists during the early '70s. However, he began playing electric guitar during the mid-'80s, when he was a member of the art-rock group Shut Up. Along with fellow Boston experimental musician Robin Amos (who was also in Shut Up), Jones formed Cul de Sac in 1990. The two would be the only constant members throughout the band's lifespan. Over the next two decades, the band would release a plethora of albums, singles, and EPs, focusing almost entirely on instrumental pieces and developing a signature sound melding noisy electronics, fingerstyle acoustic guitar, and terse rock rhythms. Jones occasionally played homemade instruments of his own design on these recordings, including a prepared lap steel guitar he dubbed "the Contraption."

A self-proclaimed student of what he calls "the Takoma School," Jones' instrumental style heavily follows the influence of John Fahey and falls generally into the rustic pastoral territory of Fahey and other American Primitive artists. In 1997, Jones collaborated with Fahey on The Epiphany of Glenn Jones, a rough-hewn pastiche of sound collage, collective jamming, and several spoken word pieces. In the early 2000s, Cul de Sac's activity slowed down significantly, and Jones began work on solo recordings. These discs moved away from Cul de Sac's ever-shifting but usually loud sonics toward a more stripped-down, gentle approach. This Is the Wind That Blows It Out was released by Strange Attractors Audio House in 2004; Jones would issue two other solo discs with Strange Attractors Audio House, including Against Which the Sea Continually Beats in 2007 and Barbecue Bob in Fishtown in 2009, which included his first forays into banjo playing.

In 2011, Jones released The Wanting, his first album with Chicago post-rock flagship label Thrill Jockey. The Wanting more deeply explored open tunings and featured "The Orca Grande Cement Factory at Victorville," an extended duet with powerhouse percussion improviser Chris Corsano. He followed in 2013 with My Garden State, an album written in Jones' boyhood New Jersey home while he was caring for his ailing mother. Welcomed Wherever I Go, an EP featuring a collaboration with Cian Nugent, appeared in 2014. Full-length Fleeting, recorded in a creekside house in Mount Holly, New Jersey, was issued by Thrill Jockey in 2016, and in 2017, Jones and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Azevedo released the concert LP Waterworks. Solo album The Giant Who Ate Himself and Other New Works for 6 & 12 String Guitar, also recorded in New Jersey, was released in 2018.

  • HOMETOWN
    Spokane, WA
  • BORN
    October 1, 1953