Posts Tagged ‘Chris Jones and the Night Drivers’


Banjo Maestro Ned Luberecki Set To Release Take Five on March 31. 2017

Featuring Guest Musicians:
Dale Ann Bradley, Becky Buller, Amanda Smith, Missy Raines, Mike Compton, David Grier, Jeremy Garrett, Shad Cobb, Stephen Mougin, and Chris Jones & The Night Drivers

Nashville, TN —  Described by Steve Martin as “an absolutely joyous, riveting, beautifully syncopated example of the beauty of the banjo,” Ned Luberecki’s new album, Take Five, demonstrates he is a master of his instrument, adept in multiple styles. Recorded at The Rec Room, Ben Surratt’s studio in East Nashville, Take Five will be independently released on March 31, 2017. Self produced, the 14-track album is a mix of originals and covers and clocks in at just under 45 minutes.

With Take Five, Ned Luberecki offers a full course five-string feast, with savory bluegrass, tasty fiddle tunes, tangy jazz and more. It’s all presented with sumptuous tone, timing that’s just right and a dash of Ned’s irrepressible humor. This is state-of-the-art five-string banjo, cooked up with virtuosity and creativity,” says banjo player, banjo instructor, and author Bill Evans.


Ned Luberecki.  Photo by Shelly Swanger

As banjo player for the award winning Becky Buller Band; one half of the duo Nedski & Mojo, and host of Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction’s Derailed and More Banjo Sunday, Ned is known not only for his banjo prowess, but for his wit and humor. Respected as both a traditional and progressive player, Ned toured extensively in the United States and Europe as a member of Chris Jones and The Night Drivers for over a decade before joining the Becky Buller Band. He’s also been a member of Paul Adkins and the Borderline Band, the Rarely Herd, and Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, and has appeared with such artists as Jim Lauderdale, Tony Trischka, and Ray Stevens.

Take Five is stacked with a remarkable lineup of guest musicians including Missy Raines and the New Hip, Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters, Becky Buller, The Helen Highwater Stringband (Mike Compton, David Grier, Missy Raines, and Shad Cobb), Chris Jones and The Night Drivers, Dale Ann Bradley, and Amanda Smith. Also appearing on the album, Stephen Mougin, guitarist of Sam Bush Band and the other half of Nedski & Mojo, calls it “a sonic glimpse inside the mind of Nedski.” He goes on, “It showcases Ned’s brilliant banjo skills in a diverse range of material, from old-time to bluegrass to jazz and beyond. Way beyond!”

Tony Trischka weighs in on the album, “At one point, the Siriusly radio-ready voice of Ned envelops us as we prepare to go where no man has gone before. If you love Ned’s ‘Cabin of Death’ – and who doesn’t –  you’re sure to embrace the traditional banjo/fiddle duet on the iconic Star Trek theme. At other times, his rocket–jockey, warp-speed, banjoistic chops propel ‘Adams County Breakdown’ and his own ‘Night Driver’ with impeccable timing. My personal favorite is ‘Cleveland Park”, less of a barn burner, but possessed of a gentle, Celtic beauty. There are several stops for jazzy sojourns as Ned and company employ bluegrass instruments to bring a fresh and welcome outlook to Jobim, Monk and Brubeck. Speaking of 5/4 time, Ned gives ‘Take 5’ a run for it’s money with his ear-worm catchy ‘Earl’s Court’.”

When not performing and broadcasting, Ned gladly shares his methods with banjo students around the world, having taught at Nashcamp, Munich Banjo Camp, Camp Bluegrass, Sore Fingers (UK), Kaufman Kamp, Midwest Banjo Camp and more. Additionally, he is the author of Alfred Music Publishing’s Complete Banjo Method.

Ned’s interest in the banjo was spurred at the age of thirteen. He asked for a banjo for Christmas, and when one of his other Christmas gifts was a couple of Steve Martin comedy albums, Ned found himself paying more attention to Steve’s banjo playing than to the comedy. The classic Foggy Mountain Banjo was his first foray into the iconic Scruggs style, and while he loved the classic sounds of Earl Scruggs, J.D. Crowe, and Sonny Osborne, somewhere along the way he discovered Tony Trischka, who would become one of his “all-time favorite musicians ever. Bar none.” This discovery—the progressive style of banjo—led Ned to delve into music from Trischka, Alan Munde, Bela Fleck, and their contemporaries. Sam Bush and New Grass Revival were his version of Lennon and the Beatles: transformative and eye opening.

Artists and bands outside of bluegrass influenced his developing musical voice as well. He carries on the banjo tradition of emulating and mimicking guitar licks in his own way, borrowing vocabulary from his favorite players Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Avant-garde bluegrass artists David Grisman and Tony Rice introduced him to jazz greats such as Oscar Peterson and Dave Brubeck. With such a varied musical taste and background, it’s no surprise most fans and banjo aficionados would tell you Ned’s style is perfectly his own – a harlequin combination of the diverse artists, musicians, and genres he’s ingested.

Take Five is a reflection of Ned’s musical diversity, presenting fiddle and banjo tunes, instrumentals, and traditional bluegrass interspersed with jazz standards, classic Buck Owens, and even the theme to Star Trek. Many of Ned’s musical friends from all walks of bluegrass make appearances, making Take Five a sort of retrospective and reminding us that however we know Ned Luberecki – sideman, teacher, on-air radio personality – it all springs from his first love, the banjo.

For more information, please visit www.nedski.com, www.facebook.com/MoreBanjo, Twitter: @NedLuberecki, and Instagram: nedluberecki

Take Five Track Listing & Credits
1. Night Driver             2:29 (Ned Luberecki)
2. Higher Ground         2:46 (Kelley Jones Luberecki & Dale Ann Bradley)
3. Cleveland Park         2:36 P.D.
4. Adams County Breakdown     3:03 (Tom Adams)
5. We’ll Put Out The Fire     2:35 (Jon Weisberger & Vida Wakeman)
6. B-Flat Medley         3:38 (Done Gone, P.D., New Camptown Races – Frank Wakefield)
7. Fiddlin’ Dan             4:10 P.D.
8. Take Five                   3:32 (Paul Desmond)
9. Girl From Ipanema         3:22 (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
10. Earl’s Court             3:38 (Ned Luberecki)
11. Blue Monk             4:00 (Thelonius Monk)
12. Kitchen Squirrel Medley     2:09 P.D. (Kitchen Girl – Squirrel Hunters)
13. Buck Owens Medley*    3:38 (Buck Owens & Don Rich, Buck Owens)
14. Where No Man Has Gone Before (Star Trek Theme) 1:27 (Alexander Courage)

*(Before You Go, Let The World Keep On Turnin’)

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Chris Jones and The Night Drivers’ Release ‘Lonely Comes Easy’
Aug 27th Through Rebel Records
Now Available on iTunes–> http://bit.ly/1aM4W2R

Featuring Guest Musicians Claire Lynch, Sierra Hull, Jeremy Garrett & more

A haunting, silky-smooth CD by some of the best players in bluegrass! Chris Jones’ voice is there with the great masters, and the Night Drivers should no longer be driving at night, but playing music 24/7.”
–Steve Martin

When I first heard Chris Jones over 25 years ago he became one of my favorite singers, and he continues to have one of the most distinctive and best voices in music, period. It’s like fine wine for the ears.”
— Jim Lauderdale

When Chris Jones and the Night Drivers woke up at the beginning of 2013, they were startled to learn that their recording of “Final Farewell” had topped Bluegrass Today’s first-ever annual bluegrass radio airplay chart.  To others, though, it came as no surprise.  Though the quartet’s “low lonesome”-singing front man founded the group back in the mid-1990s, it’s more recent years that have earned them a growing reputation for their signature sound, distinctive stage presence and deep connection to every corner of the bluegrass world.  And now, with the release of Lonely Comes Easy, the first all-new collection since 2009’s Cloud Of Dust and the first for Rebel Records in over a decade, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers are poised to cross into the ranks of the music’s most respected artists.

With two award-winning songwriters in the group—Jones and co-writer John Pennell scored the IBMA’s Song of the Year award in 2007 for “Fork In The Road,” while bassist Jon Weisberger earned the organization’s first Songwriter of the Year trophy in 2012—it’s only natural that Lonely Comes Easy is filled with the group’s own material.  Two songs, including the title track, comes from Jones’ pen, while he and Weisberger collaborated on two songs and brought in Chris Stuart, yet another Song of the Year winner, for a story of love that transcends family differences (“You’re My Family Now”). And, in a move that’s increasingly rare in the bluegrass world, the band tackles not one, but two original instrumentals—mandolin player Mark Stoffel’s “Swine Flu In Union County,” and banjo whiz Ned Luberecki’s “Don’t Blink.”

Other co-writers are a small but select group, including the legendary Tom T. and Dixie Hall (“Where I Am,” written with Chris) and popular contemporary bluegrass and country singer/songwriter Lisa Shaffer, whose “Barn Burner,” written with Weisberger, provided the inspiration for the album’s cover photo. Homages to Doc Watson (“Wake Up, Little Maggie”), Jones favorite Charley Pride (“Too Late To Say I’m Sorry”) and Ralph Stanley (“A Few More Years,” lifted from an earlier, out-of-print Jones album) round out the song list, together with the Night Drivers’ most recent #1 hit, a ‘grassy remake of country trucker classic “Wolf Creek Pass.”

Similarly, only a few guest musicians appear on the project: resonator guitarist Ivan Rosenberg, former bandmember Jeremy Garrett (Infamous Stringdusters) and IBMA Momentum Award Vocalist of the Year Emily Bankester (The Bankesters) turn up on two songs apiece, while harmonica maestro Buddy Greene supplies some mournful harmonica on “Wake Up Little Maggie” and Sierra Hull and two-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year Claire Lynch cheerfully tackle the role of female chorus on “Wolf Creek Pass.”

Though it’s thoroughly contemporary, Lonely Comes Easy stays squarely in the bluegrass groove, reflecting the quartet’s appreciation for the ability of earlier masters to bring their own, unique voices—and creative twists—to the style while honoring its traditions.  And while there’s plenty of room for the classic themes of lost love and hard times, Chris and the rest of the band serve up plenty of the deft, subtle—and, occasionally, not so subtle—humor that has brought them growing acclaim as live performers.

Thanks to Chris and Ned’s roles as on-air talent for SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction continent-wide satellite radio channel, the Night Drivers have enjoyed a broad and growing audience that knows—and appreciates them—as personalities and, to use the classic bluegrass phrase, radio friends.  Now, with the release of Lonely Comes Easy, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers have served notice that they’re among the strongest contemporary artists that the music has to offer as well.

Track Listing ~ Lonely Comes Easy:
1} If That Was Love 2:55
2} Lonely Comes Easy 3:39 (with Emily Bankester)
3} You’re My Family Now 2:52 (with Ivan Rosenberg)
4} Wake Up Little Maggie 2:42 (with Buddy Greene)
5} Don’t Blink 3:16 (with Jeremy Garrett)
6} One Who’s Coming After Me 2:33
7} Where I Am 2:36
8} Too Hard to Say I’m Sorry 2:56
9} Barn Burner 2:54
10} Then I Close My Eyes 3:28 (with Darrin Vincent, Ivan Rosenberg & Emily Bankester)
11} Swine Flu in Union County 4:05
12} A Few More Years* 3:15 (with Sally Jones, Irl Hees, Ron Block & Dan Tyminski)
13} Wolf Creek Pass (with Claire Lynch & Sierra Hull on vocals and Jeremy Garrett) 6:15

Lonely Comes Easy was produced by Chris Jones and Recorded and mixed by Ben Surratt at The Rec Room Studio, Nashville, TN. “A Few More Years” recorded by Tom T. Hall at Top Dog Studios, Franklin, TN; Mixed by Rich Adler. Additional overdub recording by Mark Stoffel and Ivan Rosenberg Mastered by Yes Master, Nashville, TN.

Chris Jones & The Night Drivers Perform This Fall:
8/31-9/01 Mammoth Lakes, CA – Mammoth Bluegrass Festival
9/11 Nashville, TN – The Station Inn
9/14 Glenmont, OH – Mohican Bluegrass Festival
9/21 Breinigsville, PA – Micro Bluegrass and Brews Festival
10/11 Norris, TN – Tennessee Fall Homecoming
10/12-10/13 Roseland, VA – The Festy Experience
10/18 Carterville, IL – O’Neil Auditorium

For more information, please visit: www.chrisjonesgrass.com/chris-jones-the-night-drivers/

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