Album DetailsLabel: Beaten Tracks Records 1001
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Performing in central Georgia, Mike Jones attributes his parents' singing and grandfather's banjo-playing for his avid interest in bluegrass music. Born in Virginia but raised in North Carolina, Mike's father was also the choir director at the little country church they attended. Vocalist Jones loves to sing bluegrass standards, and his daughters gave him some time at his cousins' Blueridge Recording Studio (Luray, Va.) as a Christmas present. Jones' vocal delivery is strong, robust and pleasant. The title cut, "Ginny's Calling," is one of two Mike Jones' originals and tells a story of a lonesome lakeside wind calling his name like a love of long ago once did. Jones' other original, "Count on You," has a nice hook about only being able to count "two achin' arms and one big broken heart." Jones also added a third verse to T.W. White's novelty number, "Five Pounds of Possum." Jones' verse is about missing the possum, slamming on his brake light, spinning his truck around, steering more to the right….just to put five pounds of possum on his table tonight. "Foggy Mountain Top" wasn't the greatest selection to follow this song in the set because of their similarities in tempo and melody.
Songs on the 39-minute album include: 1. John Henry, 2. On And On, 3. Ginny's Calling, 4. Do You Ever Think Of Me,5. Count On You 6. Those Memories Of You, 7. Gone Home, 8. If I Should Wander Back, 9. Five Pounds Of Possum, 10. Foggy Mountain Top, 11. Darling Corey, 12. Worried Man Blues, 13. The Water's So Cold
Jones enlists instrumental support from Jerry Jones (bass), David Belshan (rhythm guitar), Will Parsons (banjo, guitar), Doug Bartlett (fiddle), Megan Gregory (fiddle), Aaron Jackson (mandolin, guitar), Steve Acord (mandolin), and Andy Leftwich (fiddle). Harmony vocals are sung by Scott Linton, Jerry Jones, and David Belshan, another transplanted Virginia who Jones met after his relocation to Georgia about 15 years ago. Liner notes don't clearly indicate who is playing or singing on which numbers. The title cut from "Ginny's Calling" was featured on the Prime Cuts of Bluegrass, Vol. 75 and received airplay on numerous radio stations (country and bluegrass) in at least five states and Canada. Mike has been very happy with the attention that the CD has received, and he's been booking gigs around southeast Georgia and North Carolina. Going full time, he plans to cover at least the Atlantic seaboard by the fall of next year. Mike Jones' solo album will be a nice keepsake for his family, friends and audiences. I'd like to see him put added emphasis on his originals on future releases. An album of all originals, for example, could really get folks in the bluegrass community to sit up and take notice of Mike Jones, a solid singer and songwriter. You can visit his website at www.bluegrassmike.com. (Joe Ross)