Archive for June 2015

CHRIS JONES & THE NIGHT DRIVERS, “Run Away Tonight,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks.

June 29, 2015

Chris Jones started the Night Drivers 20 years ago.

Bass man Jon Weisberger and banjomeiser Ned Luberecki came aboard in 2003.

The new guy, mandolin player Mark Stoffel, has been with them since 2008.

Few bands have kept the same lineup that long.

The new album, “Run Away Tonight,” won’t be available for nearly two months — Aug. 21.

But its worth the wait for the band’s fan base.

Each member of the band wrote at least one song and Jones and/or Weisberger wrote a combined seven.

In fact, the only songs members of the band didn’t write were Tom T. Hall’s “Pinto The Wonder Horse is Dead,” a song about the death of a hero of the silver screen of yesteryear; Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs “Thinking About You”; and the traditional “The Leaving of Liverpool,” a song that dates to the 19th century.

There are a couple of instruments — Stoffel’s “Shelby 8” and Luberecki’sBowties Are Cool.”

“Laurie” is a playful song about a man trying to entice a woman out into the moonlight.

“One Night in Paducah” is the musical saga of a heartbroken man who finds untrue love while gambling on a riverboat and then wakes up on a levee with a hurting head and empty pockets.

“Once You’re Gone” and “She’s About To Say Goodbye” both find a man knowing that the woman who loves him is about to leave forever.

But “Dust Off  The Pain” finds him searching for a new and better love.

And “Tonight I’m Gonna Ride” finds him on the road searching for a healthier town — and not coming back.

The album ends with a gospel song, “My Portion And My Cup.”

Good album by a good band that’s stood the test of time.

Can’t find it in stores? To preview songs or order the album, try http://chrisjonesgrass.com/chrisjones-the-night-drivers/.

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UNDERHILL ROSE, “The Great Tomorrow,” no label. 11 tracks.

June 15, 2015

Listening to Underhill Rose‘s new album is like sitting on a shady veranda on a hot summer day with a paddle-fan overhead and a sweaty pitcher of lemonade beside you.

It’s that sweet and relaxing.

Most of the songs are ballads with harmonies that smooth away the stresses of life.

The Asheville, North Carolina-based trio was formed in 2009 by Eleanor Underhill and Molly Rose Reed. Salley Williamson, the bass player, joined later, making the duo a trio.

Their 2013 album, “Something Real,” spent 10 weeks in the Americana Music Association’s Top 20.

And this album is likely to repeat or excel that.

All but one of the songs — Elliot Wolff‘s “Straight Up” — were written by band members.

“The Great Tomorrow” fits into that growing genre called Americana.

It’s not exactly bluegrass with its drums and electric guitars.

But it’s close enough for all but the most traditional fans.

Reed’s “When I Die” expresses sentiments you probably haven’t heard before — “When I die/wrap me in cotton/bury me low in the gournd/so that I may be helpful to the worms and the robins/while my soul takes its cosmic crown.”

Underhill’s “Whispering Pines Motel” begins, “There’s heat in the air tonight/with the smell of honeysuckle vines/driving past the Whispering Pines Motel.”

And you know something is going to happen there.

Reed’s “My Friend” says, “We grow up/we grow out of each other/the hardest part of all/now that we are at the end/is that I just can’t stand losing my friend.”

Williamson’s “Shine” is about a family held together by the moonshine trade — “The moon shines east/the moon shines west/but the moonshine from our cellar’s best.”

Underhill’s “The Great Tomorrow” offers the hope that “in the morning, it’s all gonna be better/in the morning, I’m gonna get it together.”

Good album. Good band.

It’ll be available on June 30.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.underhillrose.com/music/