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Jones and Leva

Journey Home – 1998 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Jonathan Colcord

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CDs by Jones and Leva

Carol Elizabeth Jones and James Leva are sure to please anyone who enjoys country music of days past or Old-Time mountain songs. Songs such as "Bullet In Your Breast" can be traced directly back to the old-time song "Cold Rain And Snow," even including the line "I married me a wife..." That song and "Drunkard's Lantern" are fine examples of what is great about this duo. "Like a moth to a flame lured by promise of pleasure fleeing memories of shame to a light that deceives by the old drunkard's lantern he still believes."

Their other side is almost an alter-ego. Sweet country harmony reminiscent of family duet singing as with "She Could Have Loved Him," and "Loving On Borrowed Time." "Nothin' For Nothin' " infuses that superb old-time fiddling of Leva, with a close-to-bluegrass guitar break and mandolin solo. Jones' voice on all tracks is pleasing. She will surely grab anyone who enjoys Gillian Welch or Iris Dement. This music is rooted in tradition while still sounding fresh and innovative.