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Friday, July 01, 2022
<p>Victoria de Benedicty, 18, and Dalton Jacob, 24, practice at Victoria’s house in Ocala on Tuesday. Their band III BONES will perform its last show at the High Dive on Saturday before moving out to Austin, Texas.</p>

Victoria de Benedicty, 18, and Dalton Jacob, 24, practice at Victoria’s house in Ocala on Tuesday. Their band III BONES will perform its last show at the High Dive on Saturday before moving out to Austin, Texas.


On Monday evening, lo-fi Motown-soul duo III BONES held one of its final rehearsals in Ocala on American Eagle Farm. Light from the setting sun streamed in through the farmhouse’s floor-to-ceiling living-room windows as guitarist/singer Victoria de Benedicty, guitarist/singer Dalton Jacob and fill-in drummer Jared Reddick practiced for III Bones’ farewell show at High Dive on Saturday night.

The farm belongs to 18-year-old de Benedicty’s parents. She and Jacob, 24, the band’s founders, are preparing to relocate from the de Benedicty’s home to Austin on July 8 in their recently acquired used 1992 Tiffin Motorhomes RV. 

After 18 months of making music together, the pair is ready to get its feet wet in the city’s flourishing music scene and find more musicians to fill out the band. 

They recorded their third album, which will be released this fall, at Good Danny’s, a recording studio in Austin owned by Danny Reisch. 

The new record, scheduled to be released later this year, represents a growth spurt for the group. The songs are a bit more up-tempo, a bit more rock ‘n’ roll and a lot more refined as III Bones establishes itself as a serious lo-fi soul outfit.  

“Long term, we want to tour in this,” Jacob said and gestured at the inside of the RV, “for like, the next 50 years. It’s like a certain type of addiction when you go on tour.” 

Since III Bone’s formation in early 2013, de Benedicty and Jacob have played more than 200 shows in Gainesville and along the east coast, recorded three albums and opened for acclaimed indie bands like Surfer Blood, Reptar, Hank & Cupcakes, Matt Pond PA and Jacuzzi Boys.  

From the moment they met at an open mic night at an Ocala bar on Jan. 1, 2013, the two have remained focused on writing, performing and recording as much as possible.

Jacob, a Warped Tour veteran who had been in and out of pop-punk bands since he was 16, knew immediately after seeing de Benedicty cover of the Kinks’ “Strangers” at O’Malley’s Alley that he wanted to perform with her.

“(She) was so good that no one in the bar was talking,” Jacob said. “They were just turned around, watching her. I don’t even know if the guitar was in tune — it might’ve been slightly out of tune. But that really didn’t matter. It was just (her) singing, playing acoustic guitar into that microphone.” 

After having played piano since she was 2 years old, de Benedicty picked up guitar and learned to sing by mimicking the vocal styles of the blues artists she loved.

She was bored with top 40 pop music and fascinated by blues, especially the guitar playing of Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell and other Delta-blues style artists. 

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“You listen to those recordings from the early 1920s, and they’re just so raw,” de Benedicty said. 

“There’s just nothing else like it. I really felt something in that music that I didn’t feel about anything or anywhere else.” 

The two clicked instantly that first night, realizing they had similar musical sensibilities and shared a passion for lo-fi blues rock that was earthy and honest, unprocessed and gritty. 

In a matter of weeks, they wrote, recorded and self-released their first EP, “Organic.” In April 2013, they released their second album, “No Great Shakes.” 

They started performing around Ocala wherever they could. 

They acted as house bands for both a Greek restaurant and a tattoo parlor, and they played secret shows at a local Starbucks while preparing to move beyond Florida.

Following de Benedicty’s graduation from Hale Academy in May 2013, Jacob spent last fall booking shows, and soon, the duo, along with former drummer Jason Sands, began performing in clubs along the east coast. 

Audiences in New York City loved them, Jacob said, and they planned to return that winter, but the north polar vortex cold wave caused storms that resulted in the cancellation of the band’s plans to go back. 

“I guess we were sad for maybe six hours,” Jacob said, “Then we just (went to Austin), replanned, locked ourselves in and made a whole new album.”

They credit the momentum they earned in Gainesville to local musician Waylon Thornton, who acted as a mentor and adviser, and Pat Lavery, owner of the promotions company that organizes High Dive events.

Lavery, owner of Glory Days Presents!, met Jacob and de Benedicty through Thornton. 

After one show in April 2013, the duo said they took Lavery to dinner at Moe’s and asked for advice on how to “get serious.”

 Lavery, who has longtime roots in the Gainesville music scene as an agent and booking manager, said their eagerness to learn and listen was a quality that not many artists have. 

He advised them to be persistent and grateful.

“They’re such nice kids,” Lavery said,“they have ‘It’ — this charisma about them that’s really important for getting people excited about a band. They’re unpretentious, and that’s a big part of why I like them.” 

They plan to debut songs off their new album on Saturday at the High Dive. 

Doors open at 9 p.m., and tickets are available for $5 in advance or $6 at the door.

[A version of this story ran on pages 8-9 on 7/3/2014 under the headline "Lo-fi Motown-soul duo III Bones graduates from Gainesville"]

Victoria de Benedicty, 18, and Dalton Jacob, 24, practice at Victoria’s house in Ocala on Tuesday. Their band III BONES will perform its last show at the High Dive on Saturday before moving out to Austin, Texas.


Dalton Jacob, 24, practices in his band mate’s house in Ocala on Tuesday. His band, III BONES, will perform its last show at High Dive on Saturday before moving to Austin, Texas.

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