Ian Jones – Results Not Typical
Another interesting debut is from Seattle singer-songwriter Ian Jones (acoustic guitar/lead vocals) who’s the epitome of Northwest Americana with all its descriptive storylines & feeling. The set includes 11 songs ranging between Tom Petty’s melodic pop, outlaw country & open circuit songwriters: James Taylor, Steve Goodman & Jackson Browne.
The 38-minute CD features players who’ve been with name artists. Few modern songwriters get down in the creative dirt to write poetic original lyrics, tell compelling stories & frame them in deliciously constructed melodies – Ian Jones actually does it on Results Not Typical (Drops April 7–Thin Silver Records) was recorded in Ojai, California. Produced by Jesse Siebenberg (pedal steel guitar/electric guitar/percussion/backing vocals/horn arrangements).
Ian’s expressive songs are laid-back in a comfortable manner. Not quite Kenny Rankin-smooth but he’s cut from the same cloth as Dan Fogelberg, Michael Martin Murphey & Murray MacLauchlan. I guess my only criticism is the simplicity of some song titles.
These don’t shout any affirmation to style since anyone could’ve written a song called “You Can’t,” or “Someday.” These tunes themselves are both quite good. Sung in a conversationalist style. I like them both. The line “May Not Be a Prayin’ Man,” would’ve been a better title than “Someday.”
“Lost Highway,” is punctuated by horns & dripping with dust, white line fever & spinning wheels. Probably sounds better on a summer day with the top down in a Ford clunker. Jones sings with gusto & the shuffle beat is a real toe-tapper (as they used to say). Songs are all immaculately crafted with superb instrumentation.
At times some tunes will remind an old fogey baby-boomer of bands like Pure Prairie League, Ozark Mountain Daredevils & early Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Ian Jones has their original thrust of originality in his compositions. He certainly has a talent for writing delicately balanced tales with concise melodies.
“Athens Smiles,” has a nice groove, lyrics & retro strings with a Townes van Zandt touch. Ian’s subtlety of approach doesn’t compromise the intensity. Some songs are far more reaching than others. “Again,” (one-word title) is a strong piece. Shaded by a nice piano & spacious words. The song is slow but it’s an excellent road song that deserves a spot in that Ford clunker playlist on the “Lost Highway.” Rendered with expertise. Though it’s countrified it isn’t country corn.
Ian goes soulful on “Without You I’m Lost,” (excellent title) imbued by horns with a good Muscle Shoals style.
Highlights – “Rollin’,” “You Can’t,” “Lost Highway,” “Someday,” “Athens Smiles,” “She Is Lost,” “Again,” “Without You I’m Lost” & “You’re Gone.”
Musicians – Joey Waronker (drums), Gabe Noel (bass/cello), John Flaugher (bass), Jason Soda (acoustic guitar/guitars), Dave Palmer (piano/keys), Aaron Embry (Wurlitzer/piano), Paulie Cerra (woodwinds), Lee Thornburg (brass/trumpet/horn arrangement), Fernando Apoclaca (strings) & Paul Jacob Cartwright (strings/violin/string arrangements).
Cover photo by Justin Dylan Renney. Other photos from Ian Jones Music’s Facebook. CD @ https://www.ianjonesmusic.com/