With nine consecutive #1 singles in the rear view mirror — the most recent, “The Price Of Falling,” their first release since the release of last year’s full-length, Make Each Second Last — Chris Jones & The Night Drivers dial back the tempo, but not the energy on their latest Mountain Home single, “Blow Whistle.”
“I wrote the song a couple of years ago, with a shuffle beat, country sort of thing in mind,” says the quartet’s award-winning bassist, Marshall Wilborn. “In Chris's hands, and voice, I love how it evolved, and how it turned out.”
What Wilborn’s referring to there is the final product of the creative process, setting the spare, evocative lyric to a relaxed swing feel rather than a country shuffle’s four-on-the-floor rhythmic underpinning. The laid back groove, gently nudged along by ace drummer Tony Creasman, accentuates the melancholy of the song’s insistent plea, “Blow, whistle, blow,” directed — in timeless bluegrass fashion — to a passing train, while the band’s Mark Stoffel (mandolin) and Grace van’t Hof (baritone uke) offer terse counterpoints that frame Jones’ low, lonesome vocal and an equally effortless-sounding solo from guest resonator guitarist, Billy Cardine.
“Marshall and I have played together in three different bands now,” recalls Jones, “and I’ve been a big fan of his songwriting all along. Most of his songs recorded by other artists are older ones of his, so we were especially excited to record a new one. He played it for us backstage at a show last year and we all loved it immediately.”
About Chris Jones & The Night Drivers
Whether it’s in the studio or on stage, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers are making some of the most distinctively elegant yet driving music to be heard anywhere today, and they’re delivering it with a unique blend of dry wit, emotional authenticity and broad humor that’s won the loyalty of a growing number of fans across the country, from MerleFest in North Carolina to California’s Huck Finn Jubilee, and around the world.
Steve Martin referred to the Night Drivers as “. . . some of the best players in bluegrass! Chris Jones’ voice is there with the great masters.” Americana artist Jim Lauderdale said of Chris, “He continues to have one of the most distinctive and best voices in music, period.”
The band — which is Mark Stoffel on mandolin, Grace van’t Hof on banjo and ukelele and Marshall Wilborn on bass — is led by Chris’ soulful lead-singing, songwriting, and solid rhythm and lead guitar. Chris boasts extensive performance credits as a sideman with artists like Lynn Morris, Vassar Clements, Special Consensus, Dave Evans, Earl Scruggs, and the acclaimed Irish band The Chieftains.
Altogether, members of Chris Jones & The Night Drivers have won more than a dozen IBMA awards and have recorded more than ten #1 songs. The Night Drivers also bring name recognition in related fields, as bluegrass fans are well-familiar with Jones for his award-winning work as a SiriusXM DJ, on both Bluegrass Junction and Willie’s Roadhouse.