Diana Jones has laid down the law here. This is a soulful, substantial, and stirring record, and a work of beauty.
Country born and city raised, she was adopted as a child, and later revisited her original family and the roots of her life and music. Though she lives now in Nashville, this disc was cut with some of our favorite Yankees while woodshedding songs in Western MA: Lorne Entress on drums and percussion, Bob Dick on bass, Jay Ungar on fiddle, and Duke Levine on everything else. Diana is herself a deft guitarist, and plays fiddle and mandolin on a song apiece. Based on the personnel, one is led to believe that it was recorded in the Northeast, though those details are unrevealed.
Her plaintive voice is hard to describe. There's a wounded quality alongside a strength that makes the reflex to fix it inappropriate. The title song closes the album in a way that says it all.
The artist's lyrics have an impeccably poetic form and style. It's a remarkably strong album straight through, but some of the high points that bear mention are Ferron's vocal cameo on the stunning "Pony" and Duke's magic on the next song, "A Hold On Me." That man can play.
I'd met Diana Jones briefly in Nashville at a Christmas show, so I chatted her up when I'd run into her at Folk Alliance in the lobby or the hall. She has a lot of presence, and an unflaunted intelligence. She's charming, without trying.
Still, I was not at all prepared for how good this record is. No wonder it's getting red hot airplay at folk radio. Mark Thayer did a superb job co-producing, and he engineered and mixed the proceedings as well.
This record is the surprise of the month, and we're grateful to John Condon for turning us on. Go check out the clips on the Listen page and hear this new star for yourself. A must-have record. • Frank Goodman