The Peeper and Chin Chin

by Lonesome Jonesome

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Recorded and released in 2007. I rented a room in the centre of Derby for six months and wrote and recorded these 10 songs. I used a classical guitar,a tamborine, a FM3 Buddha Machine and whatever else was in the room. This was probably the most reviewed of all Jonesome releases -


'Personal "creature" of Chris Jones, a guy coming from Derby/U.K., Lonesome Jonesome on his forth release titled THE PEEPER AND CHIN CHIN is bringing to the attention of folk/alternative music lovers ten tiny tracks/moments which with the simplicity of a classical guitar, a tambourine and the noises of the city are able to freeze emotions by catching your attention. Chris choice to play ten instrumental songs widen the soundtrack effect which give you the idea of a slow day lived into a small city. Even if the tracks sound essential they have different layers where guitars seems to play like little kittens while the tambourine and the town noises give the beat. If the music itself is able to give to the listener enough emotions, the titles are doing the rest by painting surreal pictures like "Lady with a dog's head", "Gimme freak weather", "Oven shots" or "Losing your intellect". Try it...'


'The kind of performer for whom the term “bedroom artist” might have been coined, Lonesome Jonesome is the silly alias of Chris Jones, a young guitarist from Derby. The Peeper and Chin Chin (eh?) is slight to the point of inconsequentiality: a mere 18 minutes long, it consists of ten flimsy instrumental doodles on classical guitar and tambourine. The music is pleasant enough, and restful in a trivial kind of way, but I can’t imagine why I would ever want to hear it again.

It’s the sheer lack of ambition and commitment evident in this release that I object to. The music sounds deliberately hemmed in and circumscribed, and makes no effort to break out of its self-imposed isolation. In fact Jones makes a positive virtue of this solipsism, from his facetious alias to the liberal use of ambient sound effects picked up by the recording (passing cars, a knock at the door). These were presumably left in to emphasise the music’s one-take, off-the-cuff informality, but they just end up reminding the listener of the pitifully small horizons of Jones’s worldview.

What Jones fails to grasp is that in attempting to express himself in terms of raw, unmediated spontaneity, he is actually adopting a pose – and one, moreover, that is as studied and cynical as any other pose. These ten short pieces, with their gently strummed and plucked melodies, exhibit a general air of fleeting indifference; they would be perfect as incidental music for a British film of the summery, breeze-through-the-hair kind. As a CD in its own right, though, I actually find The Peeper and Chin Chin quite insulting in its insouciance.'


'Sometimes less is more. And Derby bedroom composer Lonesome Jonesome takes this to heart not only stripping down the instrumentation to an acoustic guitar, a tambourine, and a FM3 Buddha machine, yet also collapsing the tunes down to 1-2 minute suites. Really just an idea per piece. It feels immediate, like he got everything down as quickly as possible and then moved on. Whilst clearly thought has gone into arrangements he hasn’t agonised over the mixing or spent years on the EQ. Driven by a repetitive acoustic guitar riffs, everything else remains subservient, the drone of the Buddha and the percussive use of tambourine which seems to have been added after the guitar. These are simple tunes with plenty of space for extra instrumentation – which Lonesome Jonesome chooses not to add. In fact it’s DIY feel and refusal to clutter up the space is what makes The Peeper and Chin Chin so charming. There’s a knock on the door, you can hear cars passing, children playing, it seems like everything that happened stays on this introspective lofi ten track disc. Lonesome Jonesome is about the truth and the emotion of the moment, perhaps to redo it, to remove the imperfections he is frightened that he will lose this truth and never rediscover it again. It’s music in which the listener not only taps into the melancholic introspective emotion but does their own work, adding their own internal symphony to Lonesome Jonesome’s sparse and fragile pieces.'


'This is a nice home-made and privately processed mini demo-album of delicately evolving and moody guitar pieces (played by 2 close-harmony acoustic guitars: of slow pickings mostly and strums), with simple hand bell rhythms following the guitar excursions closely, sound as if this is all improvised from a balcony on a great sunny day. The slowly passing cars in a distance which appear like a environmental sound sample on most beginnings (and which make the entire track before the last one, make the music complete as a realistic mood with a real environment; it is a soft sound almost like a breeze, and therefore has the same sonic effect as a seashore in the background..'


'A nifty piece of bedroom folk picking from Derby from the enigmatically named Lonesome Jonesome. 10 acoustic (guitar) instrumentals (plus occasional other instruments) that are tapping into some sort of primal melody that doesn't really feel beholden to any particular genre. There is a freshness to The Peeper and the Chin Chin that is hard to resist. The tracks tend to be a bit on the short side (averaging out at around 1 minute 40 seconds), sometimes maybe too short which leaves them feeling a little like sketches rather than the finished article but even then they are delightful to hear. Recommended.'


released September 25, 2007



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Lonesome Jonesome Derby, UK

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