This album is a worthy successor to My Rememberance of You, but superior in one aspect, there is one great song amongst several very good others. Henry Russell's Last Words is based on a true story, but from the very first notes it draws the listener into the world of the trapped miner where the story is told with almost unbearable poignancy. This is no easy task, making a contemporary event timeless, and Steve Earle's comments on this art are interesting. She seems to come from an ancient tradition, particularly in terms of instrumentation, but the emotional range of her voice and the quality of the songwritng transcend any perceived limitations. This music mines a very deep emotional vein. The album begins with what would appear to be optimism in the title song, and ends, wthout any sense of irony with The Day I Die, a statement of universal truth.
I will keep this short, this gorgeous lady is a genius! the more i play this album the more i fall in love with her. this is proper music and way above the normal over commercialized rubbish that Nashville seems to be intent on putting out there these days. just buy it you wont be disappointed.
Another outstanding album from Diana Jones, currently THE outstanding singer and writer of folk-tinged acoustic American music. Take a listen to 'If I had a gun' or 'Cracked and Broken' for examples of her immense talent. With a soulful voice and wonderfully evocative backing this is as good as it gets. An absolute must buy!
Better Times Will Come I thoroughly recommend this sophomore album by Diana Jones. Her first album 'My Remembrance of You ' was my album of the year and it couldn't be faulted for excellent roots/Appalachian music,and this second album is no different,and again is going to be my album of the year 2009. Diana has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated as she is a very friendly,down-to-earth person who is extremely talented. I have seen her twice now and I like her more each time I see her. This second album has eleven excellent songs on it all written by Diana. Guests on this album are Nanci Griffith,Betty Elders,Mary Gauthier,Duke Levine, and many stellar musicians. The over all sound is very similar to the first album without sounding too much like it and the songs each tell a story as only Diana can tell them. Diana produced both albums and her talent in that sphere is beyond question. If I were to pick out songs I like from this album it would be 'Cracked and Broken ' based on a quote about the poet William Blake, that has also been recorded by Diana's friend Celeste Krenz, ' Henry Russell's Last Words ' written in memory of a Scottish miner that was killed in a mining accident in Virginia, 'Soldier Girl ' about a girl going to war in these troubled times, 'If I Had A Gun' co-written with Celeste about the way a wife would dispose of a violent husband (tongue-in-cheek I might add) and of course the title track. However all eleven songs are worthy of mention and I can say here that I have heard two new songs by Diana that hopefully will be on her third album - 'Lonely Lasts So Long' and 'Now That My Love Is Gone From Me'. If you haven't yet discovered Diana's unique blend of Appalachian music I recommend you buy this album,give it a listen,then buy her first album and lastly go to see her perform at the earliest opportunity. Like me,you will be over-awed by her talent and be a fan from then on. Diana is currently touring the UK and Europe so try to catch her this visit if you can. Highly recommended album and I give it maximum star rating. Don't miss out on this tremendous new talent.
Diana Jones once declared "sad songs cheer me up" and it is quite remarkable how the eleven melancholy numbers on her third album really do manage to be quite uplifting.
The title song is, perhaps, more in hope than prophecy but her nuanced tales of an abandoned child, a doomed miner, an abused wife or a young girl leaving home for boot camp come from a long American tradition of recording the trials and tribulations of life through old timey string band music.
This tradition stretches back through Gillian Welch and Iris DeMent to the Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers. There is the occasional electric guitar but the album is mainly acoustic, guitar, fiddle, mandolin and bass, which with her clear, vibrato laden voice complements the stark simplicity, but undeniable beauty, of the melodies.
Guest vocalists include such revered legends as Nanci Griffith, Mary Gautier and Betty Elders and serve to underpin the sad grandeur of Diana Jones's original songs.
"If I had a gun you'd be dead One to the heart, one to the head"
she sings to an abusive husband and the mournful fiddle heightens the emotion.
She hoped that sad songs would cheer her listeners up, too. Well, perhaps "cheer up" is a little strong but this is an album of intelligent, challenging songs with all the credentials of traditional Americana. Recommended.
I saw Diana Jones on the BBC Folk America series in February, where she played at one of the Barbican concerts. It was one of those rare moments where you just have to stop, put down whatever you are doing, and are totally arrested. I only saw her perform two songs that night but I knew I had to get this album, and it is one of the best things I've heard in a very long time. The songs cut straight to the heart, and there is an integrity to the music. There is a rare kind of dignity in Diana's voice which expresses a beautiful mixture of elegance with something so obviously honest, empathetic, human and real. It's sophistication in the highest sense - it's the fact that these songs are so simple, yet work so deeply, that make it a truly beautiful album. Most artists could only wish to go so far. This really is special.
I first came across Diana Jones when she supported Richard Thompson at the Roundhouse. I was impressed not only with her performance but with the songs themselves - thoughtful, memorable and emotionally charged. I bought her previous album 'My Remembrance Of You', and have played it loads. Therefore, my expectations were high for this new album, and they were surpassed. The songs are all distinctive, and it is difficult to choose favourite tracks; however,'Henry Russell's Last Words' and 'If I Had a Gun' stand out particularly. Highly recommended