Chris Jones

Follow Your Heart – 1998 (Rebel)

Reviewed by Mark "Brink" Brinkman

Every so often an album comes along from a relative unknown that has a refreshing new sound. Such is the case of Chris Jones' solo effort. He formerly was a member of the Weary Hearts, a powerhouse of talent that included Ron Block, Mike Bub, and Butch Baldassari.

Jones sheds his usual band here for Aubrey Haynie and Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Rob Ickes on dobro and Mike Compton and Wayne Benson on mandolin. Jones does guitar duties himself and has a wonderful straight ahead style that embellishes the melody, something that tends to be sorely lacking in many of today's guitar players. The album contains some of the old and new. The old is represented in the Ralph Stanley tune "Drinking From the Fountain" and the classic country tune "Waltz of the Wind." The new includes four of the 12 cuts written or co-written by Jones and the song "Nobody There But Me" from the soundtrack of the movie "Tin Cup."

High points include a driving version of the Delmore Brothers' "Nashville Blues" and Johnny Horton's "I'm Ready If You're Willin'," the latter containing some unbelievable mandolin licks from Compton. Bluegrass fans, purist or progressive, should find plenty to enjoy from this up and coming artist