If That Was Love
CHRIS JONES - LEAD VOCAL, HARMONY VOCALS
MARK STOFFEL - MANDOLIN, HARMONY VOCALS
JON WEISBERGER - BASS
NED LUBERECKI - BANJO
Press Release for "If That Was Love" and "Wolf Creek Pass":
Following up on their popular “Final Farewell,” which spent some seven months on Bluegrass Today’s airplay chart—including several weeks at #1—and currently resides in the top 10 in Bluegrass Unlimited’s “National Survey,” Chris Jones & The Night Drivers are back with a double-barrelled release that showcases both the quartet’s straight-ahead bluegrass strength and their unique comic sensibilities.
Like its predecessor, “If That Was Love” comes from the writing team of Jones and Night Driver bassist Jon Weisberger—the former an IBMA Song of the Year winner, the latter a nominee for the organization’s first-ever Songwriter of the Year award. A wry take on a love affair that burns bright but only briefly, the song exemplifies the Night Driver approach, blending the simplicity and drive of traditional bluegrass with a few melodic twists, soulful vocals, and plenty of strong picking delivered by Jones, banjo man Ned Luberecki and mandolinist/tenor singer Mark Stoffel.
Backing the new original is a cut that could only have come from the Night Drivers. A novelty number by C. W. McCall that barely missed the country top 10 in the mid-1970s, “Wolf Creek Pass” has become a staple of the group’s live show, with Jones calmly navigating the treacherous recitation and the Night Drivers dishing up an extended jam that gives Stoffel and Luberecki plenty of room to stretch out. For their studio version, the group called on Infamous Stringdusters fiddler Jeremy Garrett to help out with backup, and on Sierra Hull and Claire Lynch to provide the female chorus parts that were such a distinctive part of McCall’s original record. The result is part tongue twisting, part pure bluegrass virtuosity, and all entertainment—presented here both in its complete form and in an edited version to accommodate the needs of bluegrass radio programmers.