JR Samuels is the moniker of Jon Samuels, a veteran in the northeastern DIY music scene for the better half of the decade. While living in Ithaca, NY, Jon was a member of Izzy True and THERM, along with co-running Sweet Baby God Records. In 2016 he relocated to Philadelphia where he plays guitar in influential indie outfits Yowler and 2nd Grade, and bass in freak country band Friendship. 2019's 'In Brend' was his first proper solo release, a wiry eight-song collection of solo improvisations for classical guitar inspired by the philosophical writings of Henry Flynt. He has performed across Philadelphia, demonstrating precision and dexterity in his playing while nurturing his nuanced and frenzied approach to improvisation.
Jon is also Dear Life Record's in-house graphic designer, his work including DLR releases by Karl Blau, Kath Bloom, Natalie Jane Hill, and Shane Parish, Joan Kelsey, and many more to come!
Hand Like God is his second collection of improvised guitar music, recorded in March one afternoon in the enclosed porch of his southwest Philadelphia home. In the Book of Job, a pious man is tested by a petty God, the purest expression of grief in the face of the unjust. The improvised pieces in HAND LIKE GOD capture these same moments of grief, when one voices their own pain and are able to hear it spoken for the first time.
Releases on DLR: