During the turn of the 20th century, Bindley Hardware Co., was a fixture of Pittsburgh city life. Generations later, Jon Bindley is bringing the family name back with country music.
Roots music means the Americana and country music Bindley loves. But with the adoption of his lost family business name for his musical project, it has a different meaning for him. He’s exploring his family roots and trying to plant something new.
“I’m really trying to build something authentic and trying to grow,” he tells BTRtoday.
After college he left Pittsburgh for Nashville to pursue his musical dreams. Taking any professional music experience he could get, he ended up working in sessions and co-writing for years while making connections along the way.
The call for home was too strong and Bindley returned to Pittsburgh. He was pleasantly surprised to find the city was bustling with new and inspiring music.
“When I left Pittsburgh in 2012 there were a few bands that I liked and a few places I liked to play, but I mostly felt like I didn’t see a future here,” he says. “By the time I came back I was like, ‘wow, there’s this cool band and this cool little scene going on’ and it felt like Pittsburgh had changed, but maybe it just took me leaving and getting a new perspective.”
Bindley Hardware Co. released their debut Ever Satisfactory last year. The nine-track album is jammed with Americana string instruments like steel pedal guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo and a hint of fiddle with Bindley’s twangy voice singing along.
Each tune echoes an era of roots music, like when Willie Nelson wrote songs for Patsy Cline and when Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones played country music. In fact, Bindley says he aspires to play at the same energy level the Stones had in their country sets.
“There’s something really pure and enjoyable about that,” he says. “I like the twang, what can I say?”
Bindley Hardware Co. is now in the beginning stages of their next album, but in the meantime intend on bringing Pittsburgh to a few other states, like New York in May. He has also been working on a short documentary film following the band and unearthing the history of the Bindley Hardware Co store.
“There’s a lot of fascinating history” he says about his family history, adding that the album artwork came from the original company’s marketing. “So exploring that [in the film] and bringing a new definition to the term ‘roots’ music.”
Listen to Ever Satisfactory and the entire interview with Jon Bindley on this week’s The Music Meetup.