Chrissie Hynde of the GRAMMY-nominated Pretenders and Welsh singer/songwriter JP Jones joined the GRAMMY Museum on Aug. 23 as part of its The Drop series to discuss their much-anticipated debut album Fidelity!, and the inspiration, creative influences and collaboration behind the new project. The discussion was moderated by GRAMMY Foundation Vice President Scott Goldman, and the duo played a few songs before an intimate crowd of 200.
Jones discussed his musical inspiration, listing David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, and Van Morrison as influences, and pointed to Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" as being so beautiful that it made him cry the first time he heard it. Hynde spoke on the emotionality of music and described one track off the new album, titled "If You Let Me" as a heartbreaking, autobiographical song about her relationship with Jones.
The pair later performed "If You Let Me" for the audience, accompanied by guitarist Patrick Murdoch of the Fairground Boys.
Hynde originally met Jones at a social gathering in London before leaving for a U.S. tour with the Pretenders in 2008. She was approached by Jones, who just wanted to tell her he thought she was "awesome." The two bonded over their adoration for fairgrounds — Jones grew up on a fairground in Wales and Hynde has shown a keen interest in amusement parks as evidenced in the Pretenders' video for "Kid" — and thus came "Fairground Luck," a track featured on the new album. Hynde and Jones spent time in Cuba, where they wrote the majority of Fidelity!, a title that pays tribute to signs in Cuba celebrating Fidel Castro. The pair is currently on tour in the United States, backed by the Fairground Boys.
Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include American Express Presents An Evening With Daughtry (Sept. 14) and An Evening With Alan Parsons (Sept. 29).
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