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Follow Your Heart

By Chris Jones
 

Review By Teri Ann McLean

Owning a Chris Jones CD is like finding a hidden ruby in a world where diamonds take the spotlight. The truly savviest of bluegrassers have the inside scoop about this tasteful yet mostly-underrated guitarist and vocalist. I first “discovered” this gem of a musician when I bought his instructional guitar DVD “The Art of Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar” which prompted me to go out and buy the first Chris Jones album I could find. That album, “Follow Your Heart,” quickly became a favorite in my collection.

Released in 1998, this album deserves to be re-visited. It includes what was to become International Bluegrass Music Association’s Song of the Year in 2007, Fork in the Road. Vastly different in interpretation from the Infamous Stringdusters’ award-winning rendition, this is a great song no matter which way you slice it, but my favorite on the album has to be the title track which Jones co-wrote with Harley Allen. Jones is one of the most tasteful guitarists in the business, and his voice, while anything but the “high lonesome sound,” is instead a deep warm baritone that gives you the instant feeling of being right at home. Jones’ version of Nashville Blues is maybe the most memorable one I’ve heard or at least the one that sticks in my head for hours and days every time I give this album a listen. Jones’ easy style is most evident on songs like I’m So Afraid of Losing You Again, a Dallas Frazier/A.L. Owens song made famous by Charley Pride, and Nobody There But Me.

This album is a great “starter album” for the novice bluegrasser because of the combination in style of country and bluegrass that’s not overbearingly driving on such upbeat numbers as Leaning on the Everlasting Arms and Nashville Blues. Jones even swings a little on I’m Ready if You’re Willin’, a fun song that will have you moving. If you do not yet own a Chris Jones album, I highly recommend this as your first, but I’ll
betcha can’t have just one!

~Teri Ann McLean, Mar 2009

Host of “Something Borrowed; Something Bluegrass”
The Bluegrass Mix

 

 

 

 

 

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Page Last Updated On 11/30/2009