Bare-bones lineup suits Bones in the Museum

Bones in the Museum

Bones in the Museum

Bones in the Museum

Bones in the Museum

Bones in the Museum

  • When: 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23
  • Where: The Sugar Shack, 5712 Kingston Pike
  • With: Henry Gibson
  • Cost: Free

— After five years in Knoxville, Bones in the Museum has seen a number of changes in format. While its newest setup appears to be a stripped-down version of itself, it is actually closer to the original vision of guitarist/vocalist Joe Bones than any of its previous forms.

Built for efficiency, the now two-piece band looks to perform frequently in the months leading up to its reinvented sophomore release.

Bones in the Museum began as a solo singer-songwriter outing for Joe Bones during his tenure in Your Favorite Hero. Upon leaving his former act, Bones in the Museum received his full attention. He began recruiting additional players and welcoming a more electrified arrangement of instruments. Veering away from the typical rock layout, the group was gradually reduced to a trio consisting of upright bass, acoustic guitar and a minimal drum kit before losing its bassist a month ago.

Bones in the Museum is now made up of Joe Bones and percussionist Josh Ivenster, who are content with their status as a duo, noting its many advantages.

“We had a lot of lineup problems and changes,” says Bones. “It’s going to be easier and better for us to do it like this. We looked into getting another bass player, but after thinking about it a while, it seemed more logical to keep it a two-piece. It’s more intimate, and we can connect with the audience better. If there are two people with instruments that don’t need to be plugged in, it leaves more room for audience participation.”

“It’s a lot easier to set up without the full drum set and all the electrics now,” Ivenster adds. “I bring in the bongos and the bells and he’s got his acoustic, and we jump in and play and then we disappear.

“Smaller places are more willing to give you a try for 30 minutes knowing you’re not going to be loud and bring in the crazies. That’s what we’re targeted for, a quick in-and-out.”

The music of Bones in the Museum has always been identifiable by its lilting guitar and percussion. It’s most comparable to The Islands combined with vocals resembling those of Chin Up Chin Up’s Jeremy Bolen.

What remains to be seen is how the group’s new material will thrive without the supplementary guitar and bass overlays, which are now represented with harmonica and backing vocals. The band will have the next two months to finish honing its new approach with live gigs as it awaits a tentative December studio date.

“It’s changed so much over the past five years,” says Ivenster. “It sounds like a street band kind of, but it’s pretty full for a two-piece. We’ve basically redone everything now. It was more rocking before with progressive parts worked into it, but now that we’ve folk-tized it or downgraded it, we focus more on the parts we have..”

“I think the smaller bar scene is more for us now,” Bones continues. “We try not to play on stages since it creates separation from the audience.”

With the help of friend and Rock Soup Records founder Nate Austin, Bones in the Museum hopes to record its first full-length release in December. The concept album titled “Smoke/Fire/Evacuation” will be a follow-up to the band’s first EP “The East Hills,” recorded as a full band.

“The East Hills” has so far been available exclusively through Internet sources, but in the next two weeks it will be presented in a physical format.

“I don’t mean to discourage anyone from buying it on iTunes, but I’d rather they wait for the pressed version,” Bones urges. “We’ve been working really hard to make sure there’s nice artwork on it. We’re really excited about it.”

“We want each album to have a different feel,” says Ivenster. “Anyone who has listened to Bones or has an appreciation for the feel of it, once this album comes out, it’ll be an adjustment.”

Wine listing: Irish Times Pub welcomes tropical Southern rock act Homemade Wine to its stage tonight. The free performance is slated for 10 p.m.

Hyfantis hiatus: Tuesday night Kevin Hyfantis hosts and performs for Zunimar Music’s last Stripped Down showcase of 2010 at Preservation Pub. The show starts at 10 p.m. and costs $3.

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