The Boneheads are one of my favorite local acts. So when I learned they would be appearing at Jewett Hall Auditorium on Feb. 10, I got ahold of guitarist/vocalist Steve Jones to find out what’s been happening with the band since he and I last spoke, back in January 2017, when they were just getting ready to celebrate the release of their newest CD “Cheer Up.” I asked him if his group had ever performed at Jewett Hall before.

Jones: We have. It was a long time ago, from what I recall. But we all have with different people over the years, and maybe we never have as the actual Boneheads, so this may be breaking new ground.

Q: That’s true because all of you have so many configurations with different groups and individuals all the time.

Jones: Yes, we do.

Q: Well, that must keep it at least interesting for you.

Jones: It certainly keeps it fresh, because you’re playing new music. It’s always like a great homecoming when we come back to doing the Boneheads, because we’ve been 28 to 29 years together. It’s a brotherhood; getting back to that is like coming home.

Q: You know, whether it was you opening for B.B. King all those many years ago or more recent gigs, every time I’ve seen you perform — as the French say — there’s a joie de vivre in every Boneheads show.

Jones: Thanks. That’s nice to hear, and we feel it, too, amongst ourselves.

Q: Now, another thing that comes to mind is this — because of the fact that you’ve played together so long, do you even bother with a set list?

Jones: No, no, and shamefully we really never have. It’s been the Boneheads way to almost do the wrong thing in terms of what a traditional band would be like. We’ve always had this joke-like battle cry: “Let’s lose the gig!” And it seems like anytime we’ve gone into a show with that attitude, we actually have won over the crowd. Yeah, we’ve always gone that way, like picking songs out of the air and actually trying to read the crowd and make a show based on who we’re interacting with.

Q: Good point, good point. It’s that interaction that makes a Boneheads’ performance so much more than a concert. It’s incorporating the audience into what you guys are doing. You’re feeding the audience, and they are feeding you. It’s like a closed tape loop.

Jones: Yeah, yeah, that’s great when it can happen like that. And quite often it does. It’s more of a happening than a presentation, you know?

Q: Yeah, I certainly do. Now, we’ve established that you’ve been playing together for a long time, but as The Boneheads, how often do you get together over, say, the span of a year?

Jones: Well, these days we’re playing a bit more than we were. We’ve always done, for the last bunch of years, at least one gig a month. But these days, it’s often two or three times a month that we play together, as well as being in Bob’s (Colwell) studio backing up other people on their projects. We’re very much in touch with each other.

Q: What can folks expect at your Jewett Hall show?

Jones: I think they can expect to have some fun, if they’re willing; I know we’re going to have fun. And there’ll be songs of Boneheads’ originals, probably some cover that you don’t hear every day and probably a few extra surprise vocal performances by Dickie-Doo Hollis. He’s singing a lot more in the band these days, and he really sounds wonderful, too. Yeah, I think that they’ll have fun, if they’re willing and maybe even if they’re not willing.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the readers of this article?

Jones: Thank you so much to all our supporters that have been following and listening to the Boneheads all these years — I can’t thank them enough for giving us a reason to do this.

Lucky Clark, winner of a 2018 “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award, has spent 49 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.


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