PICKIN' AND GRINNIN'
Among a long list of pickers, storytellers, and shredders, the collective influences of Jesse Schaefer, Tanner Evans, and Sarah Dossey of Indian & the Jones (I&TJ) might surprise you.
Officially formed out of a happenstance meeting, the idea of I&TJ was truly took shape when Evans and Schaefer attended an intimate performance by Mandolin Orange at SXSW music festival in the Spring of 2015. In the midst of hearing the band for one of the first times, Evans leaned over to Schaefer and said, “We should do this.” That was the beginning of the story that very soon included Dossey, a pop artist and banjo-player whom they had met on literally the same weekend.
Since that first meeting, I&TJ’s sound has developed into something that surprises even them. They may have set out to learn and create bluegrass music, but overtime, the influence of classic folk and country songwriters like Lyle Lovett, Roger Miller, WIllie Nelson, and Randy Newman, as well as modern artists like Crooked Still, Milk Carton Kids, (in addition to Mandolin Orange) have begun to creep in and shape the way the 3 members of I&TJ approach songwriting. Schaefer and Dossey’s experience and love of pop music and Evans’ deeper well of Bluegrass and fiddle tune knowledge create a perfect storm of songs that are simultaneously hooky and classic.
In the fall of 2017, the trio was honored by the City of Austin Arts and Entertainment commission, who declared October 19, 2017 as Indian & the Jones Day in Austin, TX.
Later, in 2018, Evans, Schaefer, and Dossey took these songs to one of the most prolific recording studios in the world, Blue Rock, located only a few miles down the road from their homebase in Austin. Working with producer Patrick Conway, the band was able to spend an entire week surrounded by juniper trees and limestone, completely submerged in the creation of music. Following this time of deep creativity, the band returned home having tracked over 15 songs, 10 of which will soon make their debut to the world as their first record as a band, Texas.