Portland-born singer-songwriter Cam Jones, who currently performs under the moniker Yes We Kin, just released a four-song EP, “That We Will.” He spent more then two years working on it, and his goal with Yes We Kin is to animate the traditional folk style of his songs with a changing cast of musicians that makes every live performance unique.
Jones’ other projects include being a member of Worried Well and a past member of the defunct band In the Audience.
GO recently checked in with Jones to get the skinny on his early days, the new EP and what’s on his horizon.
When did you first become interested in music?
I was about 14 or 15. I started out on bass, and I worshipped the giant poster of The Who on my wall like any other youngster should.
What did you grow up listening to?
Roger Waters-era Pink Floyd was a huge influence on me. I listened to The Band, Bob Dylan, Allman Brothers; a lot of older classic stuff.
What instruments do you play?
I can hold my own on bass, drums and guitar. I tend to identify with drums more than the others, since it’s what I play the most. A lot of my influences on each instrument have never been considered “the best.” I’m more of a style over skill kind of guy. But every Yes We Kin song is written pretty much on guitar.
Why is the EP called “That We Will”?
In the song “River Eyes,” there is a line, “yes we can, and that we will,” and I thought it would sound good as a title. I love it when records are titled after a specific line in a verse of a song or a lyric that you only hear once.
Where can people pick up a copy?
There are 100 copies of this EP. The only way you can get them is if you come out to a show, but you can hear the EP on the Yes We Kin bandcamp page, which is yeswekin.bandcamp.com. Also, the Yes We Kin Facebook page is up and running with updates as well.
What inspired the song “I Wish I Were a Regional Writer?”
A lot of my major influences as a songwriter identify themselves as “regional writers,” and I’ve always liked that. I feel like where you’re from is a really important thing and is a great backdrop for songs because we can all identify with a place. Springsteen songs about New Jersey or Elbow songs about England are universal because we are all from somewhere. So I suppose in short, just Portland was what inspired this song.
How about the other three songs on the EP?
Every song on here has been inspired by my experiences of the last four years or so. One line in one song will be about something that happened in July, and the next line will be about something from three years ago. All my lyrics are a complicated mess. I’ll wait until I do “Storytellers” to really fill you in.
What do you like about the local music scene? What’s challenging about it?
I really like how close it is. A lot of people want to support each other, or at least they seem that way. There are a lot of great venues. What’s challenging is how everyone tends to live in their little bubbles these days. The old ways of fliering and radio promo don’t work well anymore. Even Facebook events aren’t getting to people; there is just too much stuff to sift through online. I think everyone just needs to get excited enough for them to spend a little money and support everyone.
What’s next for you?
Worried Well, the other band I play in, is mixing a full-length record we’ve been working on for almost a year. So we’re getting that ready to be released by April, hopefully. In my downtime, I have already started sketching out the songs that did not make it onto this Yes We Kin EP; I expect I’ll have another one done by summertime. On top of all that, I’ll be playing shows with Worried Well and Yes We Kin.
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: