Given her forthright nature and strong personality, few aspiring musicians would likely approach Chrissie Hynde in a bar to talk music.
But JP Jones did, and now he’s in a band — JP, Chrissie & the Fairground Boys — with the Pretenders founder and leader.
The meeting took place in November 2008 and led to the Welsh singer and songwriter sending Hynde his songs while she was touring with her band. “I couldn’t even remember what he looked like at that point,” Hynde says, “but I knew there was something really special about (the songs).”
The two then took a pleasure trip to Havana, where their unusual personal relationship — he’s 32, she’s 59 — inspired a concept for the 11-song “Fidelity.”
“I said to Chrissie, ‘If we were the same age, would you have my babies?’ And she said, ‘Yeah,’ ” Jones recalls. “But we can’t, so we put it all into the songs.”
Hynde adds that, “It was just, like, personal conversations between ourselves and they just translated into these songs.
“We got back from Cuba and demoed them, and I said, ‘I don’t know about you, man, but this is the best stuff I’ve ever done.’ He said, ‘Yeah, me too.’ So we just took it from there. No one suggested we write together to write some hits, or that we might be good together. We met and all this happened in the most honest, natural way.”
The bad news for Pretenders fans is that Hynde says she has “no interest in working on anything else now but” JP, Chrissie & the Fairground Boys and also plans to make a solo album with Jones before another group record.
“He’s got the most amazing songs, and he’s very prolific,” says Hynde, who also operates a vegetarian restaurant in her home town of Akron. “The songs just get better and better, so that’s my main ambition, to record him.”
JP, Chrissie & the Fairground Boys, Amy Correia and Patrick Davy & the Ghosts perform Saturday, Oct. 9, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $39.50. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.
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