Chrissie Hynde, new partner explore "Fidelity"

Fri Oct 1, 2010 7:01pm EDT
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By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - Forget the Pretenders. As far as Chrissie Hynde is concerned, JP, Chrissie, & the Fairground Boys is her only musical concern these days.

"I have no interest in working on anything else now but this," Hynde told about her partnership with Welsh singer and songwriter JP Jones. The two met in November 2008 at a party in London and went on to collaborate on the album, "Fidelity," released in August by Rocket Science Records.

"We certainly have enough songs for another album, and who knows what else in the future," Hynde said. "But my main ambition is to take the boys and JP into a studio and record an album of his songs, 'cause he's got the most amazing songs and he's very prolific."

That might take awhile, however, as JP, Chrissie, & the Fairground Boys will be touring extensively. Their North American dates include a stop at the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans on Halloween, with European dates planned for the new year, according to Jones.

"We want to get out there with the boys and keep touring, because I think it's the best band touring North America," Hynde said. "They're just amazing to watch and a joy to play with."

Hynde and Jones struck up a musical relationship after their initial meeting, and he began sending her songs while she was on tour with the Pretenders. "I couldn't even remember what he looked like at that point," she said, "but I knew there was something really special about (the songs)." The two then took a pleasure trip to Havana, where their unusual personal relationship -- he's 32, she's 59 -- inspired a concept for the 11-song "Fidelity."

"I said to Chrissie, 'If we were the same age, would you have my babies?' And she said, 'Yeah,'" Jones recalled. "But we can't, so we put it all into the songs."

Hynde added, "We didn't approach it with any idea. It was just, like, personal conversations between ourselves, and they just translated into these songs. We got back from Cuba and demo'd them, and I said, 'I don't know about you, man, but this is the best stuff I've ever done.' He said, 'Yeah, me too,' so we just took it from there. No one suggested we write together to write some hits, or that we might be good together. We met and all this happened in the most honest, natural way."

Hynde predicted that Jones will "be doing some songwriting with other people" for his album but is eager to work on their next collaborative project. Meanwhile, JP, Chrissie & the Fairground Boys are adding to the "Fidelity" material in concert with an unreleased track called "Portabello" and "Christmas Soon," one of the album's three iTunes bonus tracks.

<p>Rock singer Chrissie Hynde arrives at the 1st PETA Europe humanitarian awards in London in this June 28, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/David Moir/Files</p>