Love Jones (band)

Love Jones is an American band from Louisville, Kentucky formed in the spring of 1990 and consists of Ben Daughtrey (vocals, percussion), Barry Thomas (bass), Chris Hawpe (vocals, guitar), Jonathan Palmer (vocals), Stuart Johnson (drums 1991-2003) and Scott Lankford (drums 2003-Current).

Love Jones
Love Jones Promotional Picture 1993
Background information
OriginLouisville, Kentucky, U.S.
GenresLounge, Easy Listening, Traditional pop
Years active1990–present
LabelsZoo Entertainment
Associated actsTool, The Presidents of the United States of America, Matthew Sweet, Leftover Cuties, Ming Tea, New Radicals.
MembersBen Daughtrey
Barry Thomas
Chris Hawpe
Jonathan Palmer
Scott Lankford
Phil Gough
Todd Johnson
Past membersStuart Johnson

According to Entertainment Weekly, Love Jones was a leader of the "Cocktail Nation" groups of the early 1990s. The genre — which included Combustible Edison, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy — was a reaction to the grunge/alternative music of the early 1990s. Cocktail Nation bands celebrated the aesthetics and music of the 1950s and early 1960s — lounge jazz, crooning pop, and martinis. Love Jones played any sort of pop music that fit within that label: pop, blues, R&B, bossa nova, doo wop.

Love Jones formed in Louisville in 1990, along with bands like Slint and Palace Brothers, demonstrating the diversity of the Louisville music scene. In 1992, Love Jones moved to Los Angeles and staged a weekly Thursday night residency show at the famed nightclub Largo. The show featured frequent guest performer Jon Brion, who appears on several Love Jones recordings.


  • Ben Daughtrey (vocals/percussion)
  • Jonathan Palmer (vocals)
  • Barry Thomas (bass)
  • Chris Hawpe (vocals/guitar)
  • Stuart Johnson (drums 1990-2003)
  • Phil Gough (guitar)
  • Scott Lankford (drums 2003–present)
  • Todd Johnson (guitar)


In 1992 Love Jones signed with Zoo Entertainment/BMG shortly after releasing a single on Minty Fresh Records. The band was first brought to the attention of Zoo Entertainment/BMG by guitarist Adam Jones of Tool, who were with the label at the time. The band would eventually contribute the hidden track "Santa Monica and Orange" to Love Jones' debut album for Zoo, 1993's Here's to the Losers.

Here's to the Losers—co-produced by the band and Rod O'Brien—contains a wide mix of styles, including disco, Blaxploitation film soundtracks, samba, soul and funk. Key tracks include "Central Avenue," "Li'l Black Book," "Custom Van," "Drive-In," "Ohio River" and "Fragile." Jon Brion is featured on many tracks, playing piano and organ. Ben Daughtrey directed the music video for "Pineapple."

1995's Powerful Pain Relief—co-produced by the band and Paul duGré—reveals more of Love Jones' influences, including Isaac Hayes, early Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire and Chic. Key tracks include the title track, "World of Summer," "You Don't Know Me" and "The Thing." Jon Brion again contributes, playing various keyboards on several tracks. Liz Friedlander directed the music video for "The Thing."

2010's independent release Forever—co-produced by Love Jones and Matthew Libman—includes key tracks "Charm City" and "Hey California."


Year Title Notes
1991 Live At Jerry's Self Released - Cassette only
1992 I Like Young Girls b/w Lil' Black Book 45 RPM Single on Minty Fresh Records
1993 Here's To The Losers Track 4 is Tool covering "Paid For Loving"
1995 Powerful Pain Relief Jon Brion plays keyboards
1995 Love Jones - Live In Hollywood Vinyl only release on Classic Records
1996 Swingers Soundtrack
2010 FOREVER...
2018 Here's To The Losers Vinyl - 25th Anniversary Reissue - 2 LPs Track 4 is Tool covering "Paid For Loving" Side 4 is previously unreleased material


Love Jones' signature song "Paid For Lovin'" was featured in the Miramax film Swingers after the band developed a relationship with Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, who frequently attended Love Jones' shows. Love Jones bassist Barry Thomas was a Music Consultant on Swingers.

The band built a fanbase across the United States through touring, often in support of alternative rock bands of the day, such as Afghan Whigs and The Presidents of the United States of America.

In addition to recorded works and live performances, Love Jones appeared in the films Since You've Been Gone starring Teri Hatcher, and French Exit starring Jonathan Silverman. The band also appeared in the film The Sweetest Thing as the wedding band. They can also be seen in the Pedro Zamora tribute episode of The Real World: San Francisco.

The band is schedule to perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on January 10, 2019.



Drummer Stuart Johnson appeared in the film Austin Powers as part of Austin's fictional band Ming Tea, which also featured Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet. He also played drums for the New Radicals and Simon Dawes. He is currently a member of the Los Angeles band Leftover Cuties.

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