CHRIS JONES & THE NIGHT DRIVERS
Chris Jones is well established in the world of bluegrass. Here, he proves his worth once again as a singer, guitarist, and songwriter. There is never a showy moment. It’s about the songs, but they are peppered with ear-catching licks, breaks, and ever tasteful harmonies. Jones’ baritone sets the tone. We are not getting too excited here, but we have a few points to make. Gina Furtado’s banjo is a solid foil, as are Mark Stoffel’s tasteful mandolin lines. The vocal on each song helps carry the song without distraction. The arrangements are subordinate to the vocals, but shine in their support.
Jones and company crafted all but one of the songs here, “Back In The High Life Again” from Steve Winwood. It holds up well in the company of the fine songs by the band, and it makes for a good choice to cover. Tony Creasman plays some tasteful drums on all but one cut. Jon Weisberger is his tasteful self on bass throughout. David Johnson fiddles on “High Life” while Liz Carroll lends her wicked wonderful bow to “Nyhan’s Regret,” a Stoffel- Furtado original instrumental. A long way from a Flatt & Scruggs classic, but it still reaches deep into the Celtic realm. Tim Surrett’s resonator guitar work puts a sear edge on the spiritual “Glimpse Of The Kingdom.”
The riches encased in this project are gold. Pay mind to what you’re hearing and you’ll become richer for the experience. It’s worth your investment to spend some quality time with this fine project. (Mountain Home, P.O. Box 829, Arden, NC 28704, www.mountainhomemuisccompany.com.)RCB