Sunday, April 02, 2006
Stone Jack Jones was raised in a coal miner's company house on the banks of Buffalo Creek, W.V. The woods were the first seduction. It was there that he roamed. In this solitude he met the Peacock Man, who would transform his notions of reality, reality at the time being Vietnam raging, no prospects of college, and a draft notice in his pocket. He was rejected from the military because of epilepsy and told to go home. So the young musician picked up his fiddle and began a life of wandering.


He ended up in Nashville, Tn, and soon met Patty Griffin at the legendary Jack's Guitar Bar, where they spent many a night honing their songs. Stone Jack Jones went on several tours with Patty early in her career, forming what has proved to be an enduring musical relationship. A chance friendship with producer Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Lou Reed, Sleater-Kinney) began a collaboration that shaped all these different influences and experiences into a distinctive and evocative style that still exists on his most recent release, bluefolk.

Don’t let the surreal dining room sounds introduction fool you, bluefolk is no restaurant-based concept album. Rather, Stone Jack Jones’ second album is an interesting conglomeration of styles that, according to his website, includes “traditional Irish, medieval, punk and country” music. Jones employs a great number of different instruments on bluefolk, in fact, space limitations prevent me from listing them all; here are a few: guitars, piano, moog, organ, mandolin, trumpet, and more. Simple, effective, almost Beatles-esque vocal harmonies showcase the talents of Mr. Jones and his friend, Patty Griffin. Her ethereal voice, appearing on four tracks, provides a striking contrast to his scratchy, earthy voice. The juxtaposition of his organic singing against a very electronic instrumental background lends a creative depth to the album. The contrast of the two makes his voice sound even more natural, and the man-made sounds, more inorganic.

The first track, entitled “Smile,” is an excellent song with which to open the album, as it serves as a good introduction to the mood and sound of the entire record. The album continues much as it began, with “Bread” acting as the only upbeat song in a rather low-tempo, soothing collection. “Tell Me” features amazing drumming that takes place on mostly on the down-beats. This off-beat percussion is very complex and gives the song a unique quality. The country influence is very noticeable on “Lift Me,” a beautiful balladic song that even includes the tiniest hint of a toy piano. The aptly-titled “Rage” borders on dissonant, with an out of place feedback effect throughout the song. Bluefolk closes with an absolutely beautiful song: “Freedom” includes a sample of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice in a striking tribute to the man who fought so hard for the freedom of so many. The lilting organ and the haunting, disembodied voice of Dr. King provides a solid conclusion to this profound and fascinating album.

Sarah A. Stephens
Contributing Writer
 



4 Thoughts:


Anonymous CptCanuck on 4:48 am

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Anonymous Si on 5:16 pm

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Anonymous si on 5:16 pm

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Anonymous Si on 5:17 pm

Exclusive receiving end of sirens live concert with tons of photos and an interview conducted in some random chicken restaurant all wrapped up un a greasy but sweet ass podcast of a wrapper. Who's excited?

 

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