Park City-based singer-songwriter releases an album that’s ‘Far From Home’
Jonathan Kolon returns to town for a string of gigs
Singer and songwriter Jonathan Kolon’s debut album “Far From Home,” recorded with his roots-music band, Mountain Town, is his tribute to Park City.
Kolon, known as Dr. Jon, will release the disc on all digital platforms, including Spotify, iTunes and Bandcamp, on Aug. 1.
“If you buy it on Bandcamp the money will help support the studio, engineers, producers, mixer and mastering and musicians,” said Kolon, a former Park City dentist. “I can also mail out autographed physical copies and other merchandise from mountaintownband.com.”
Kolon wrote the album’s songs during his time as program director of the dentistry program at the Navy Medical Readiness and Training Command Center, also known as the Naval Hospital, in Portsmouth, Virginia.
“I have nine months left in the Navy, and it has been an honor to serve and teach as a professor,” he said. “Being away from Park City for seven-and-a-half years does give you perspective and a deep appreciation for the town. I used to be the town’s dentist. I went to the No Name Saloon every Friday. You see your friends at the post office. But when you’re away from that, you really learn to appreciate it. And that comes out a lot in the album.”
“Far from Home” features nine tracks that start with what Kolon calls “three polished” songs “This Highway Ends,” the first single he ever wrote and recorded, “The House Always Wins” and “Ride the Raven,” which were recorded and produced by the Animal Farm, a management firm and studio in London.
The Animal Farm is owned by brothers Mat and Ville Leppanen whose careers started in 1992 as staff songwriters on Bob Grace’s Empire Music, Kolon said.
The rest of the tracks — “Last Time Around,” “Shipyard Town,” “Wander On Up to Heaven,” “Willie,” “You’re the Well” and “I Only Asked Her to Dance” — were recorded at Nashvox Studios in Nashville.
“‘Last Time Around’ is a heart-breaking pedal-steel guitar song, while “Shipyard Town” is about Portsmouth,” he said.
“I Only Asked Her to Dance” is a Park City song, Kolon said.
“It’s about the mining history in Utah,” he said. “There’s a cool mountain sound with mandolin and dobro.”
In addition to releasing the album, Kolon is taking a few days’ leave from the Navy to play some Park City gigs.
The schedule includes the following dates:
- Saturday, Aug. 13 — Notch Pub, 2392 E. Mirror Lake Hwy., 7 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 14 — Lucky Ones Coffee Presents performance, Park City Library, 1255 Park Ave., 10 a.m.
- Wednesday, Aug. 17 — Park City Farmer’s Market, Canyons Cabriolet lot
- Friday, Aug. 19 — Boneyard Saloon, 1251 Kearns Blvd., sitting in with Silver King, 7 p.m.
“The Notch is a great place with great food,” he said. “During the early hours, people like to dance. So I’ll play some upbeat songs. As the night goes on, people like to hear the slower songs, so I’ll play the ones they want to hear.”
Kolon is grateful to work with Mountain Town Music on scheduling the Music on the Patio performance.
“The patio is such a groovy place,” he said. “My wife Kim and I used to live 10 minutes away from the library, and I used to play rugby on that field on the Fourth of July. So it will be fun to play to the ghosts of all the muckers.”
The Farmer’s Market performance will also be a highlight for Kolon.
“I’m the market’s official music sponsor,” he said.
Kolon landed the Friday show at the Boneyard, at the invitation of former Park City Mayor Dana Williams.
“Dana’s band Silver King is playing that night, and he asked me to sit in,” Kolon said.
The new album and string of gigs aren’t the only musical projects Kolon has in the pipeline. He is recording a new single, “Let Your Heart Decide,” for Animal Farm.
The song will feature fellow award-winning local singer-songwriter Alica Stockman.
“Ville asked if there is a person in town who I would like to sing with, and I said, ‘Miss Alicia,’” Kolon said. “I told him that I liked her voice.”
The song is already written, and studio musicians have already recorded the basic tracks, according to Kolon.
“It’s exciting, and I’m so fired up to do the song,” he said. “I can’t wait to lay the vocals down.”
In the meanwhile, Kolon is counting down his days in the Navy.
“I’ll be back home for good next spring,” he said. “Until then, I’m writing songs when I’m far from home, wishing I was there and slugging through the day.”
With the wrap-up of the 2023 Sundance and Slamdance film festivals, it’s up to Park City Film to carry the art-house torch with its weekend screenings.
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