#VINOMUSIC: At BottleRock Napa with The Bad Jones

The Bad Jones sound like a group of mean mothers to steer clear of, but don’t let the name fool you. The Bay area band decided to retire their old name, Soul Pie, in favor of something with a tad more ‘tude. Besides, the new name reflects their taste: The band is pure rock ‘n’ roll and they don’t intend to be swayed by trends.

The Bad Jones also wanted to focus on its members’ songwriting strengths to bring some new vitality to what they see as “the currently dormant state of rock ‘n’ roll.”

Lead singer Jesse Ray and guitarist Tommy Odetto are a veteran writing pair who combined forces with hometown friends John Varn on keyboards and bass player Tim Baker.

“We play rock n’ roll and have a good time,” Tommy said backstage at BottleRock Napa. “We listen to everything, even though we play rock ‘n’ roll.

Varn brings a jazz background into the mix. He comes from a musical family. He has two grand pianos in his house, both of which belonged to his dad.

Ray, who studied music at UCSD, owns a recording studio in SF called Gulch Alley Studios. And like a lot of musicians at BottleRock, he loves wine. What would he pair with his band’s music? “Big, juicy, luscious and smooth Pinot.” 

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