“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
— C.S. Lewis

I just finished a song I’ve been working on for 9 months.


I haven’t released any music for a while so I’d like to catch up those of you who are wondering what’s next for me and my music.

Last year, my goal was to release a song a month for an entire year and compile all 12 of them into a single album. Shout out to Bruno Major! I wanted to find my sound and grow as a songwriter holistically.

I got four months in before burning out, but I learned so much along the way. I learned that not every song comes easy and that it takes time to make something beautiful.

Last year I took a year off from school to pursue music, save money, and get my head on straight. Living at home for a year was an enormous blessing. I didn’t have any major bills to pay, so I poured my resources into making the best music I could possibly make.

Things are a lot different now though. I moved out in June of 2018 and have been living with three other dudes. Well, four now. Anyways. It’s been grand. But I haven’t been able spend as much time in the studio, especially now that I’m back in school.

All that to say — this new song “Londonderry Road” means a lot to me and I’m so proud of it! There’s a simple complexity to it that I’m so stoked for you to hear. I want it to make you feel hopeful again.

To me, Londonderry Road is about feeling like you haven’t arrived anywhere yet. Like you’re constantly running in hope of Home. The longing we feel now is evidence of where we’re going later.

I’ve gone through so much transition this year. New job. New school. New apartment. And yet God is leaning in even when everything else feels uncertain.



the light of morning comes

and I have left my home

the summer berries come and they go

on Londonderry Road


they told me I’d be okay

now I got nowhere left to stay

I know I'm skin and bones

but my Father’s got my soul 





I’m almost Home

my blade is in the blood

of tension good enough

the calling and the cure

the artist on the floor





I’m almost Home

a song is in the trees

and I've been on my knees

I've almost caught the wind

my God is leaning in.


Artwork by Rachel Johnson

Artwork by Rachel Johnson

"O Minnesota" by Ryan Lee Jones / Produced by Brian Ricke


INTRO - Uke, Drums

VERSE 1 - Uke, Bass, Wurlitzer, Drums, Electric Guitar

I'm working hard

To not work hard

If I play my cards right

I'll end up like you

You taught me to care

About the things that we share

I give you my heart right

After you let me

CHORUS - Keys, Electric Guitar, Drums, Bass, BGVs

O Minnesota we gotta pull the plug and forget that we are together na na na na

O Minnesota we gotta pull the plug and forget you like stupid weather na na na na

C'mon now

INTERLUDE - Doubled Uke, Bass

Verse 2 - Uke, Bass, Electric, Piano, Wurlitzer, Drums

I'm thinking about

Actually going

To a place I don't know, Lord

Every morning

Puerto Rico is warmer

And the rent there is nothing

I don't know why

But I think that it's freeing


BRIDGE - Bass, Drums, Muted Uke, Piano

Hang around the town that showed you what you're made for

Stranger things have happened

I live in Minneapolis

OUTRO - Face-Melting-Electric-Guitar-Solo, Layered Electric, Bass, Keys, Drums, Wurlitzer, Piano, Uke



Brian Ricke: Producer, Drums, Percussion, Keys, Mixing, Mastering

Kevin Anderson: Electric Guitar

Aaron Fabbrini: Bass

Connie Ricke: BGVs, Chord Chart Translator

Rachel Johnson: Artwork

Ryan Lee Jones: Co-producer, Vocals, Ukulele, Keys

The Perfectionist's Problem

I'm reading a book called "Finish" by Jon Acuff. It's fantastic and gut wrenching and has got me thinking.

Here's the deal. He's not paying me for this. I just absolutely love this book. I write these blog posts partly because I miss school and partly because I have a constant urge to "express" -- whatever that means.

Jon talks about how perfectionism can be such a destroyer of progress; it paralyzes people who feel like they can achieve it. And honestly, I feel like a part of that mindset really stems from pride.

But just wait. We both know that there's a healthy side to ambition. Having a drive for excellence is good and right, something God has called us to do. We've literally been made to bring order out of chaos. Light to darkness. Beauty to misunderstanding. Isn't working hard at something a good thing? 

Absolutely. But when your drive turns into relentless self-examination, it becomes exhausting. You've heard it before: You are your own worst critic.

Perfectionism is trippy, dude. It tells you to quit the project the day after your first mess up. What a goal killer! 

One reason why I'm doing this single-a-month thing is to get rid of that. I'm done hiding. God calls us to share our gifts with other people, but that's so terrifying. You'll never get anything perfect the first time around. 

But let's be real. Sometimes I wish I could just escape somewhere far away and lock myself in a cabin and write songs all day and cook myself quesadillas and drink lemonade. That sounds awesome. Sometimes I feel like burying my talent in the ground.

Breathe. Slow down. Stop. 

God's grace is more than enough for you, for me. 

The more I follow Jesus, the more I see how understanding he is. God became man in the form of Jesus not because he needed to prove himself. That's not it. He wanted us to know just how deeply he understands how we feel. Jesus hung out with his friends. He got angry, without sinning -- for righteous things. He wept when his friend died. He got hungry. He was tempted in every way, yet he was without sin.

God knows what "human" feels like. 

Please, just receive this word. Your Father, the God of the universe, has seen that you've put a lot of pressure on yourself. And he wants you to know that he has lived the perfect life FOR you. You are not God. Trust him and lay down your perfectionism at the foot of the cross. 

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Colossians 3:23-24


I'm in the dugout. 

My knuckles turn white as I grip the metal bench. I know I'm almost up, but all I can really see is the chainlink fence holding at bay the myriad of discarded bubble gum wrappers. I wish my teammates would move over. I can't see. They're all right up against the fence. I should probably stand up. Move my legs a little bit. The crowd roars, but I'm not sure why. Small bursts of light shoot through the metal diamonds of the chainlink fence and I can only guess what's happening behind the light.  

Believe me. I've been up before. Last at bat I hit a double that brought me to seven RBIs on the day. No lie. The crowd was deafening. The sweaty neighborhood kids even stopped by to see what was happening. It felt good, but I made sure I used a little humility to disguise my pride.  

But all of that is in the past. My high school baseball achievements I had worked so hard for had left me with a temporary satisfaction. It's like smelling a meal without actually eating it. There's a longing within every achievement. The more I achieve, the less I feel I have. Why strive for something at all if it only satisfies for a little while? What are my motives for doing my best?

The crack of the bat snaps me back in. I realize that I'm choosing to perform in front of my biggest critic. Myself. I've been trying to live up to my own expectations. 

Why are we working? Why are we doing our best? Who are we trying to please?

Fulfillment has two meanings. It can be defined as an "act", but it also can be defined as a "state of being". In the Old Testament, God prophesied that He would provide a way of salvation for all people. In Isaiah chapter 9, God assured everyone that He would send Himself as a baby to us here on earth. This actually happened. When Jesus came as the Savior of the world, he fulfilled prophecy. Thank God He came. That's the first part of the definition. 

Fulfillment also means this: "The contentment one feels when one has fulfilled a desire, need, or expectation." If you're anything like me you've probably been striving after success for a long time. Performance. I feel like I can fix things if I try hard enough. Make things bend a certain way so that I feel like I've contributed significantly to the success of a project. Here's the thing. It doesn't last. That feeling. I can't find it in my job. In my relationships. Or in leisure.

Whatever you're striving after, make sure you take a second to examine your motives honestly. The perfectionist inside of you won't ever get enough from you.

But here's the good part. Contentment is found in Jesus. Fulfillment is found in using your gifts for God's glory and for the good of your neighbor. When you know how much you're loved by God, the work you do will mean a whole lot more. 



My Post (6).jpg

Fulfillment by Ryan Lee Jones






I can't find it in the confines of my job

The system's got it wrong

I can't find it in the comments online

My value isn't wrapped up

In dollars and cents


My mind makes amends

I'm done settling

I'm done settling 

We're gonna kill it

I'm done settling 

I'm done settling

I'm done settling 

We're gonna kill it


And here I stand

With heart open

Lord take my life

I will give in

This earth belongs 

To God above 

He is my love 

God is my love

God is my love





Original artwork by Jayce Hall

Original artwork by Jayce Hall

Sam and Sarah - 

Thanks for showing me nothing but love these past couple years. I've been so encouraged by both of you and your love for one another inspires me. Happy Anniversary! 

- Ryan


Y'KNOW + EH by Ryan Lee Jones


You two pack up the heavens and don't give a care

Forget your worries and trust that you're already there

He lied to your face when he told you he was working

Erin Dahl shot you with lights and clear screen


Sarah as Y'know

Your boy Samuel loves you, Eh

Y'know + Eh



So go. Roam the oceans, the snow, the palms

Material independence is all you should want

He meant what he said when he told ya you were worth it

All love really is is visible courage



Some nights you find, you find yourself loving how it went down

You can't believe she's real

You can't decide if heaven's on earth in what you have in her

Like God's love for the church



Let's catch up. I've been living in my own head for a while now and I'd like to flesh out some of the ideas and dreams that I've been chewing on. I've been working on some new music with some of the best musicians in Minneapolis and it's been a freakin' blast.

Coming in February, I'll be releasing a song called "Fulfillment". It talks about what we put value in and how we can't find lasting fulfillment in anything under the sun. God is the one who offers lasting peace and love because he made us. He knows how we function. Looking for fulfillment in earthly things will only leave us feeling frustrated.

Zach Miller came in a couple weeks ago and tracked a crazy percussion part for this song. It has so many layers to it. Usually, I like to keep my songs simple, but I just really wanted to push it with this one. It was like Zach was literally reading my mind. He captured exactly what I was looking for -- an organic, high-energy beat that really drives the song forward. 

We got a chance to get to know one another a little bit while we were setting up. An accomplished percussionist, Miller is well-known in the Minneapolis music scene and beyond. He plays extensively with Sarah Groves, knows Jenny and Tyler, and is in a band called Ben Rosenbush and The Brighton. The band's debut album "A Wild Hunger" is absolutely phenomenal and I recommend it to any music junky. I definitely want to continue working with this dude. He's a boss. 

Aaron Fabbrini is in a league of his own. He's a bass player who came highly touted by Brian Ricke. We sent him the latest file and he came up with something that caught me by surprise. Gotta be real with ya. It was so far outside my comfort zone that I started to second guess the direction, but after mulling it over, giving it a day, and hearing it perfectly tucked inside the mix, it blew my MIND. The new bass part adds an entirely new dimension to the song and it really brings out the "bridge". It's weird. This song doesn't really follow the verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus formula. It's like a verse, an interlude, and a bridge. It's strange. But sheesh. I'm stoked about that bass part. 

As a songwriter and someone who loves to arrange music, sometimes it's hard to trust someone else with what you've created. To give up control is scary, but I think it's absolutely necessary. If I only took my own ideas seriously, the music would start to follow a similar pattern and before long, my "creativity" would start looking like "predictability".

There are so many incredibly talented people in the world. Go tell someone about your passion and let them get their hands in it. Just remember what you're trying to accomplish with what you're doing. If they're messing with one of your core values, forget it. But if they're poking at a secondary issue, let them mess around. Treat them with respect and listen to their ideas before you start spouting out yours. It's taken me a long time to realize this and I'm still learning. I've made many mistakes along the way, but I'm trying to get better at collaboration. It's a big deal. 

Peter Paul Rubens.  Music Making Angels.  1628. Sanssouci Picture Gallery, Potsdam, Germany.  Wikipedia. ( 01 02 2018. 

Peter Paul Rubens. Music Making Angels. 1628. Sanssouci Picture Gallery, Potsdam, Germany. Wikipedia. ( 01 02 2018. 

Music is such a personal thing. Everyone comes from a different set of circumstances. The way Johnny understands music will be different from the way you understand it because of what influenced him early on. So logically, your understanding of music will increase when you try to figure out Johnny's perspective. This will allow you to get mega creative with what you already have. I'm trying to make myself listen to everything because there's so much out there. Each genre has qualities that are exceptional and worth paying attention to. There's so much quality, edifying rap being made. It's insane. Go look for it. And no, not all country music is about trucks, dogs, and women. Shout out to Damian Johnson. Go listen to some good country storytelling and learn from how they write. 

I think that's where I'll end it. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! God bless.


We've just tracked the last song. All of the guitar and vocal parts are complete and all five songs are done lyrically. Our goal is to be done tracking live instruments by the end of this week! Brian Ricke has a connection with the Minnesota Orchestra, so we'll be bringing in a professional cello player for this last song. She comes down to record on Wednesday. 


Music producer Mike Graff finished up a couple synth parts for two other songs and we're so happy with how they turned out! Subtle. Simple. He really bought into the vision that we have for this record and he knew exactly what to add to serve the message of each song. Because, honestly, that's what it's all about. Serving the message of the song.


The whole goal of RONES is to make creative music that's vulnerable enough to showcase the human condition. Because once we see ourselves as we truly are, we begin to understand how much God loves us and how deeply involved He is with ALL of his people. Music is the universal language and we want to make it for ALL people. 


We couldn't be more excited to show you what we've been working on. It's a privilege to even be in the same room as these talented musical minds. We give God all the glory for how he's brought us together in the creation of this record. Thanks for taking an interest in our music. 


[Send Ryan Jones a friend request on Facebook or follow him on Instagram at @ryguyjonesy to hear the latest news on The Dinkytown Tapes.] 

Online Oxygen

We've finally starting breathing online. 


Currently, we are in the studio process finishing up the tracking stage. Four songs of the five something songs are done lyrically and now we're diving into some hard core music production. The bone structure of these songs are in place; it will just take a rib or two from something else to make it complete. A cello part here. Some bells over there. It's surreal to just hear these ideas come alive. They're starting to talk back.  


A few weeks ago we brought in a few string players. Heavens. What an inspiring time. We're so excited to get this project off our laptops and into your hands. 


Here's what to expect in the next 2 to 3 months. As previously said, we're almost done tracking. After that's done, we'll move to the mixing stage. And then mastering. Once mastering is completely done and we're satisfied with what we have, we'll release the first project. 


It's called the THE DINKYTOWN TAPES. 


We greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers.