Archive for January 2017

CHRIS JONES & THE NIGHT DRIVERS, “Made To Move,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks

January 23, 2017

Chris Jones worked as a sideman with Dave Evans and then Special Consensus before moving to Nashville in 1989 as a member of Weary Hearts.

In 1995, he created his own band — Chris Jones & The Night Drivers.

And 22 years later, the music just keeps getting better.

“Made To Move,” which hits record bins on Feb. 10, is a blend of traditional and contemporary bluegrass.

Jones wrote six songs — four with bassist Jon Weisberger.

Weisberger co-wrote two others with other writers.

And banjo player Gina Clowes and mandolinist Mark Stoffel each wrote an instrumental — “Last Frost” by her and “What The Heck?!” by him.

The other two songs are covers of the Grateful Dead‘s “Dark Hollow” from 1973 and Johnny Rodriguez‘s “You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me)” from the same year.

“The Old Bell” is a Civil War song about a church bell that’s melted for bullets.

“Sleeping Through The Storm” is an uptempo gospel number.

“Range Road 53” is a hard-charging song about a man who’s been gone from home for too long and is on his way back.

“Silent Goodbye” is about a woman who never talks about her feelings. But her actions say she’s leaving.

Guests include Brooke Aldridge, Shawn Lane, Tim Surrett and Darrin Vincent.

Can’t find it in stores? Try http://chrisjonesgrass.com/music/

 

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DARIN AND BROOKE ALDRIDGE, “Faster And Farther,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks

January 16, 2017

Darin and Brooke Aldridge, “the singing sweethearts of bluegrass,” released their first album, an all-gospel collection, in 2008, a few months before they were married.

Darin worked his way up through the bluegrass ranks, including a stint with the Country Gentlemen.

Brooke’s background is primarily in gospel.

Today, they are among the few groups whose albums just keep getting better.

And “Faster and Farther,” which hits record bins on Feb. 10, is the best yet.

Brooke, who sings lead on nine of the tracks, has never sounded better.

She cuts loose and wails on several tracks.

The album kicks off with “Kingdom Come,” a hard-driving gospel-ish song about keeping one’s eyes on the prize.

“Fit For A King” is a strong ballad about a street preacher.

“Highway of Heartaches,” which features some great fiddle work by Shad Cobb, is about a woman facing a long, lonesome road in life.

“Eugene and Diane” is a song about a country picker and a socialite who fall in love, but never tell each other.

“They lived and died regretting the things they never said,” the lyrics say.

There’s a great cover of Ian Tyson‘s “Someday Soon.”

“Heaven Just Got Sweeter For You” finds a widow looking forward to meeting her deceased husband in heaven.

Guests include Vince Gill, John Cowan, Pat Flynn, Tim Surrett and Barry Bales.

A very strong album.

If you haven’t discovered Darin and Brooke Aldridge, it’s time you did.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.darinandbrookealdridge.com/merchandise/ on Feb. 10.