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Honky-Tonk Jukebox host pays tribute to 'Bloomfield Sound' on new album

Every month, a historic German singing club in Bloomfield changes into a place filled with cowboy hats, rhinestone jackets, and lots of boots, thanks to the Honky Tonk Jukebox.

Once a month, a historic German singing club in Bloomfield turns into a place where people wear cowboy hats, rhinestone jackets, and boots, thanks to the Honky Tonk Jukebox.

The Jukebox is led by Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Jon Bindley and his band, Bindley Hardware Co. They perform their own songs, play classic honky-tonk country tunes, and bring various guests onstage while the audience dances at the Liedertafel, a venue dating back to the early 1900s and home to the Bloomfield Liedertafel Singing Society.

Bindley Hardware Co. is getting ready to release their latest album, “Bloomfield Sound.” Bindley, 34, recently talked to TribLive about creating the album and the upcoming release party on April 19 honky-tonk.

This interview has been edited for brevity.

Q: The new album is called “Bloomfield Sound” – what does the title mean?

A: Bloomfield has a rich history in local music. Like many others, I spent years playing and attending shows at Howler’s and the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, both of which are now closed. The album is a tribute to the past, present, and future of bands like The Beagle Brothers (who will perform at the release show) and their “Architects of the Bloomfield Sound” album to The Harlan Twins, whose song, “I Can’t Be Blue in Bloomfield,” we cover on this album. We’re paying tribute and celebrating this small music scene and its development. Bloomfield has been our musical home for several years now. I like to think that this album adds another chapter to the history. Similar to the “Bakersfield Sound” — this is our region’s take on country music.

Q: The band’s overall sound avoids many of the features of modern pop country music – is that intentional?

A: I'm not sure if it’s intentional, I just try to write songs that I personally enjoy and that I will enjoy performing with the band. I don't have anything against modern pop country music; I know people have strong opinions about the genre these days. At this point, everything is so mixed up that I'm not even sure what's what. There are many “pop country” acts that I find more genuine and entertaining than those branded as “anti-pop pop country,” so who knows?

Q: What was the biggest challenge in creating the new album?

A: The harsh economic reality of producing and releasing original music in 2024. Recorded music doesn’t bring much value, but it costs a lot to create something of high quality, and then comes the expense of promoting it and trying to attract listeners, which is a tough challenge for a regular guy and independent artist like me. So you have to set realistic expectations and appreciate what you have. Right now, I have a small but strong community of people who genuinely care, listen, and show up. As long as they continue to enjoy what we’re doing, that makes it all worthwhile.

Q: What’s your favorite song from “Bloomfield Sound”?

A: I would probably say “Nana Mae’s Kitchen,” which is a song about my late grandmother, an Irish immigrant with a larger-than-life personality. It’s been 15 years or more since she passed, but I’m really proud of how that song musically and lyrically evokes the past and takes me back to the world I knew as a child. That’s the power of music.

The digital version of 'Bloomfield Sound' is set to come out on April 12.

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