Review: Ian Jones Chooses Country Lane for Bucket List Record

Creativity can be a wretched master, especially when an artist is multi-talented and their abilities and tastes encompass a wide swath. Parkland native Ian Jones was told to “pick a lane” when developing his latest release, Results Not Typical, Pt. 1. He chose the country music genre for this one, on Thin Silver Music, which will be released in two parts, and it was a wise choice. With echoes of The Eagles and Loudan Wainright III, with a little Tom Petty thrown in, this disc is an exquisite alternative to the pop pulp of typical modern country fare. His voice lends itself to country, Jones said and feels like he resembles “an early James Taylor with an acoustic guitar.” That said, he can certainly rock it, as he shows in the first song on the disc, “Rollin.” I really appreciate the clean vocals and musicality on this disc. There are no tricks, trills or nonsense, vocally or otherwise. A closeted, self-taught musician who plays guitar and piano, Jones kept his passion for music hidden from most people for many years. He studied the music of The Beatles early on¸ he said. 

“It was always about the music and technique, never about anything else” says Jones.

“Without You I’m Lost” is an ode to the women in men’s lives, written at a Mineral Lake cabin when Jones and his buddy David Bickford were sitting on the dock getting good and drunk. He wrote the bones of the song on the inside of a cardboard beer box.

“We were talking about our wives and our lives and how the stuff you do and the sacrifices you make are okay because you do it for the ones you love” he said. 

He wrote the song in about two weeks. “Making good records isn’t cheap,” Jones said when speaking about the release which has been a challenge for multiple reasons. This is his eighth release after having been absent the music scene for a few years. He’s been performing it, acoustically for a few months in a soft release.

For “Athens Smiles,” Paul Jacob Cartwright performed nine string parts in succession in one afternoon, Jones said. Nine chairs were set up around the mic assembly and he changed seats to record each part. With the piano and spot on percussion, it has a decidedly Bob Seger feel.

The last song on the disc is “Goodbyes Are The Hardest Words,” based on a true experience and the most tender of the collection.

For this disc, Jones hired Jesse Siebenberg, known for writing multiple film scores, engineering  a number of top rung acts, who has toured and performed with Supertramp, Kenny Loggins, Billy Preston, and others, and performed on a number of television shows, including Conan and Jay Leno. His pedigree is long and his ear for music is exactly what Jones needed to get this disc on the right track. It has been expensive, but Jones is all in for this disc and considers it his bucket list record. They pulled in musicians to record the disc in California and recorded 11 songs over two days. There was no click track and no overdubbing, Jones said.

“They were people who’ve shared the stage with the best musicians in the world,” Jones said, and who received the music the night before the session.

The reason the disc is five songs and marked with the “Pt. 1” in the title is because the rest of the disc won’t be finished until next year. Jones has shared a taste of Part 2 with me, and I’m looking forward to it.

Jones next appears with Danny Newcomb and the Sugarmakers and Stacy Jones Saturday, November, 4 at Capp’s Club. You can purchase the music there or online at CD Baby and iTunes.  

(Give a listen below via Soundcloud to “Rollin” from the new release. You can also purchase it HERE via CD Baby.) 

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