CD Review - Honky Tonk Deluxe
Mark Jones and Jonesville
Metroland, November 3
, 2011
by Glenn Weiser

Mark Jones and Jonesville
Honky Tonk Deluxe

By Glenn Weiser

Country music’s golden era, the age of honky-tonk, ran from the late ’40s to the mid-’50s, when Nashville producers, challenged by competition from the newly emerged rock & roll, adulterated the rootsy sound with pop ingredients like strings and choral voices. Honky-tonkers like Ray Price and Hank Williams sang to acoustic guitars, fiddles, pedal steels, and string basses—the lean and sassy sound Mark Jones calls home.

Recorded live in the studio, the self-produced Honky Tonk Deluxe is Jones’ second CD and offers 13 tracks of authentic old-school country. There are only two covers here; all the rest are Jones originals that sound as though they could have blared from barroom jukeboxes back when Harry Truman was president.

Then there’s Jones’ band, Jonesville. Local steel-guitar king Kevin Maul can seamlessly switch between dobro to lap steel to pedal steel as the moment demands, and Jay Byrd Goreleski’s girlie-pinup-decorated upright bass effortlessly lays down the groove. Guesting on the record is Peter Bearup, who adds tasty Telecaster twang and acoustic backing to the mix. Together they give great honky-tonk.

On the first track, “Baby, I Got to Go,” the band slap down a strutting groove, and Jones’ tenor is better than I’ve ever heard it as he sings of splitting town and his lady love as he heads for the next gig. Maul’s soloing is on the money. The third track, “Cadillac 8,” is a swingy instrumental that starts with a boogie riff by Jones, and on “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” Jones revisits Bill Monroe’s bluegrass classic, adding a fresh interpretation of the tune to the list started by Elvis. Honky Tonk Deluxe is pure country gold, and should win Jones many new fans.

Index of Metroland Articles by Glenn Weiser    ©2011 by Glenn Weiser. All rights reserved.  


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