• courtesy of Chris Jones
  • Chris Jones

Last year bluegrass singer and guitarist Chris Jones released Lonely Comes Easy (Rebel), the first album of new recordings he’d made with his band the Night Drivers in four years. Jones, who along with the band’s banjo player, Ned Luberecki, hosts the Sirius XM program Bluegrass Junction, got his start in the business as the vocalist for Chicago institution Special Consensus in the early 80s, but in recent years he’s emerged as a major figure. His latest album reveals impressively catholic sensibilities—the recording even ends with a cover of a tune by C.W. McCall, the deep-voiced country trucker who scored with the unlikely pop hit “Convoy” during the 70s CB-radio craze—moving easily from instrumental breakdowns to honky-tonk gems (a cover of Charlie Pride’s “Too Late to Say I’m Sorry”) to a traditional ballad (“Wake Up Little Maggie,” a tune made famous by Doc Watson) to hooky original material. Everyone in the band—Luberecki, mandolinist Mark Stoffel, and bassist Jon Weisberger—is a skilled composer, and all contributed material to the album. After the jump you can check out today’s 12 O’Clock Track, “Where I Am,” which was composed by Jones together with the legendary Tom T. Hall and his wife, Dixie. Jones and the Night Drivers will make a rare area appearance on Saturday night, when they play the American Legion Hall in Evanston, part of the invaluable Bluegrass Legends concert series.