The conception for these recordings started in 2006 when I heard Bruce Springsteen’s album The Seeger Sessions – We Shall Overcome. I bough the album which unusually also had a DVD with it so I could not only hear the terrific music but also see the band in action.
There were a number of stand out tracks on the album but I picked these to send to the rest of the band as possible for us to record. They were ‘Old Dan Tucker’, ‘John Henry’ and ‘Erie Canal’. I also considered ‘Jacobs Ladder’.
I bought copied of the album and sent them round to the rest of the Band. We had not been in the recording studios since recording ‘Barn Dance Fiesta’ in 2000/2001.
Everyone seemed to be up for it so we eventually went into the Panther Recording Studios in Reigate, Surrey on a Sunday in March 2007 to put down the three tracks. Erie Canal had been discarded and Barry wanted to do ‘A Man of Constant Sorrow’ for the film ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’ but the Band agreed that Chris’ choice ‘Johnny Come Lately’ by Steve Earle was a better bet.
After we had laid down the tracks with the Band we then asked Debbie Chalmers, who is our main fiddle player, in the Band and Les Elvin who has played on most of our recordings to give up an evening and augment with their talents to add to our tracks.
Some of the harmonies by Debbie on Johnny Come Lately are wonderful and the bazouki playing by Les on “John Henry’ Chris too the poisoned chalice to do the vocals on ‘Johnny’.
The recording was held in limbo due to various domestic crises but we finally got the mixing finished in November/December 2009. This was in no small way due to the fantastic mixing skills of Leighton who together with Richard, the studio engineer, produced what you hear today.
My thanks to all who made this dream come true.
Johnny Come Lately (Steve Earle)
Old Dan Tucker (Traditional)
John Henry (Traditional)
Chris Jones – Accordion / Banjo / Vocals
Barry Jones – Drums
Leighton Jones – Bass Guitar
Suzzie Jones – Recorder / Vocals
Derek Jones – Vocals
with Les Elvin – Acoustic Guitar / Harmonica / Bazouki
Debbie Chalmers – Fiddle
Recorded at Panther Studios, Reigate, Surrey – May 2007
Mixed at Panther Studios, Reigate, Surrey – November/December 2009
Concept by Derek Jones
Produced by Leighton Jones
Mixing/Recording Richard Coppin