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Chris Jones

Lost Souls & Free Spirits The Rebel Collection Old & New – 2012 (Rebel)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Chris Jones

Chris Jones & The Night Drivers disc is an anthology with 4 songs from previous releases dating back to 1997 plus 3 new songs. It features a plethora of excellent pickers including Ron Block, Ron Stewart, Darrin Vincent and Rob Ickes as well as the current Night Drivers: Mark Stoffel on mandolin, Jon Weisberger (bass), fellow satellite radio broadcaster Ned Luberecki (banjo) and Jones playing guitar.

An old Delmore Brothers song, Nashville Blues, from a 1998 album is kicked off by mandolin, reminiscent of the Delmore guitar kick before swinging into full bluegrass mode. Whispering Now, a Louvin Brothers song, features a simple arrangement, just Jones on guitar and Jesse Brock on mandolin with a four-person backup on the vocals. This is an excellent interpretation of a great gospel number.

Jones shows his country side with Johnny Duncan's I'd Rather Love You. Tom T and Dixie Hall contribute two songs here. Tom T is a storyteller and the story told in A Hero In Harlan is one of pathos that is repeated so often these days: the return of a soldier killed in war. The arrangement is very good for this song, and Jones offers a great delivery. The Man On The Side of the Road is another story, another good arrangement and the plus of Tom T singing on it.

It makes no difference if the song is older, like Bridge To Portsmouth, or new - Final Farewell - Jones and his band show their style and polish. They make for good listening.