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Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. Photo by Darwin Davidson

Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. Photo by Darwin Davidson

Chris Jones & the Night Drivers Set to Release a New Live Album
“Live At The Old Feed Store” on October 7th
Recorded at The Old
Feed Store in Cobden, Illinois

~In Consideration for IBMA This Year’s Nominations~

With success of 2013’s Lonely Comes Easy, their first all-new collection since 2009’s Cloud Of Dust, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers are thrilled to announce a new live album, Live At The Old Feed Store to be independently released October 7, 2014.

The critically-acclaimed vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter behind Chris Jones & the Night Drivers has one of the most distinctive voices in bluegrass, a smooth, low croon that goes down like whiskey with a little bit of honey,” writes The Bluegrass Situation’s Brittney McKenna in a recent interview. Joining Chris Jones as the Night Drivers are bassist Jon Weisberger, mandolin player Mark Stoffel, and banjo whiz Ned Luberecki.

Musically, Live At The Old Feed Store will feature originals like “Battle of the Bands” (a soon-to-be-released single co-written by Night Driver Jon Weisberger and previously recorded by Chris for The 1861 Project), “Like a Hawk” and “Follow Your Heart”, the latter of which was co-written by Chris Jones and features guest vocalist Sally Jones. The album also offers concert staples like “Bound To Ride,” “Cabin Of Death” and “Edelweiss,” along with a new version of a George Jones song (“I Cried Myself Awake”) that Chris first recorded more than 20 years ago as a member of the Special Consensus. Emily Bankester of The Bankesters is also a guest on the original song “Then I Close My Eyes.” The album was recorded at one of the band’s favorite intimate venues, the Old Feed Store in Cobden, IL, on two successive nights in the summer of 2013 and mixed by Mark Stoffel.

REB-1847_coverChris Jones and the Night Drivers are honored to have passed onto to the 2nd ballot for the IBMA Awards in the categories of Entertainer of the Year, Instrumental Group of the Year, and Album of the Year (Lonely Comes Easy). Also making the 2nd ballot are Chris Jones for Male Vocalist of the Year, Ned Luberecki for Banjo Player of the Year, and Jon Weisberger as Bass Player of the Year. After this 2nd voting period is over, the final ballot will be announced in mid-August, which the IBMA members will vote on the nominees by early September.

Although the band’s “low lonesome”-singing frontman founded the group back in the mid-1990s, Engine 145’s Henry Carrigan notes, “…in recent years the group has enjoyed growing acclaim not only for its deft musicianship and love of traditional music but also to its musical inventiveness and the songwriting genius of the group’s various members.” This past year, the band has had nine songs charting in Bluegrass Today‘s monthly chart, with five songs hitting the Top 5, including three rising to #1.

Chris Jones and the Night Drivers will be on tour this summer and fall. In mid-August they play the Targhee Bluegrass Festival in WY and the Red Clay Bluegrass Festival on Prince Edward Island in Canada. At the end of August they hop onto the Bourbon & Bluegrass Steamboat Tours, from St Louis to Cincinnati and back again, for two special river tours that offer a rare opportunity to experience the dynamic blend of historic discovery, toe-tapping bluegrass and the finest distilleries on the Bourbon Trail. Upon return to solid land, the group hits the road again towards the ends of September for shows at Bean Blossom, the Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival and the Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia. They’ll also be traveling for a European tour for ten days in October.

Earlier this year, they traveled from Montana to Kansas to New England–not necessarily in that order–as well as points in between, with stops at Big Sky Big Grass, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Merlefest, DelFest, Bluegrass on the Plains in Auburn, AL and the Huck Finn Jubilee near Los Angeles. Big Sky Big Grass gets the award for the biggest on-stage jams with the Sam Bush Band, Jones played The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek.”Luberecki was also part of MerleFest’s First ever BanjoRama which was hosted by “Dr. Banjo” Pete Wernick.

Chris Jones & the Night Drivers on Tour
8/10 Sun – Targhee Bluegrass Festival – Alta, WY
8/15-16 Fri-Sat – Red Clay Bluegrass Festival – Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada
8/29-9/6 – “Bourbon & Bluegrass” American Steamboat Tours – St Louis (Alton, IL) – Cincinnati, OH
9/5-9/13 – “Bourbon & Bluegrass” American Steamboat Tours – Cincinnati, OH – St Louis (Alton, IL)
9/24 Wed – Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival – Bean Blossom, IN
9/25 Thu – Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival, Roanoke, NC
9/27 Sat – Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival, Vine Grove, KY
10/2 Thu – IBMA World of Bluegrass, Roe Entertainment Showcase
10/10 Fri – Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Museum of Appalachia – Norris, TN
10/11 Sat – Germantown Street Festival – Nashville, TN
10/18-28 – European Tour
11/15-16 Sat- Sun – Wickenburg Bluegrass & Fiddle Championship – Wickenburg, AZ
12/12: Bluegrass in the Smokies, Pigeon Forge, TN

For more information, tour dates and words from the road, please visit: chrisjonesgrass.com, facebook.com/chrisjonesgrass, and twitter.com/chrisjonesgrass.

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REB-1847_cover

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
*BONUS TRACK

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.

ChrisJones_NightDrivers_2013_byMichaelWilsonPhotog
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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