From Small-town, North Carolina comes the sophomore recording effort of songster Billy Jones, Time. On Time Jones continues to lean on the deep roots of the folk tradition that informed his debut album Without A Fight. Yet, here Jones introduces a considerably fuller sound, courtesy of his very capable backing band The Pocket. Despite a fuller
From Small-town, North Carolina comes the sophomore recording effort of songster Billy Jones, Time. On Time Jones continues to lean on the deep roots of the folk tradition that informed his debut album Without A Fight. Yet, here Jones introduces a considerably fuller sound, courtesy of his very capable backing band The Pocket. Despite a fuller sound, the production on Time remains fairly unaffected by engineering tweaks and touches. Jones strives for an organic sound on his records, and he has succeeded again here. There is a refreshing looseness to the band – not sloppiness or inconsistency, but a willingness to give the songs room to breath and move around a bit - much like a live show (after all Jones is a performer at heart, and this is his road band). If Without a Fight is an exploration of Main St. landscapes and highway journeys, Time finds Jones exploring more of an interior landscape. In the bluesy opening track, “Back to Eden” Jones sings of “walking in and out of doorways/….building skyscrapers and paving sidewalks/ in her gentle mind.” Buildings and nature are employed metaphorically throughout Time, as Jones muses on the passing of time and journeys that have become more psychological than physical. On the earthy, melancholy “Monday Manners” Jones sings: ”Motionless I lay here contemplating the tide/I wonder if its low out there/ With the sun still on the rise/ Seems like a good time to collect myself/ Maybe forget about the storm for a while.” Again, the ebb and flow seems more to do with the matter of the mind than actual water. Despite his obvious awareness of time rolling by, Jones seems simultaneously concerned with maintaining connectivity to the past. (It should come as no surprise that Jones crafted and recorded these songs in the months/days leading up to the birth of his first son.) On Time, Jones flexes his versatility as a songwriter. In keeping with the theme of connectivity to the past, Jones channels a dependable catalogue of American musicians. He seems equal parts Arlo Guthrie and Sam Cooke, as much The Band as The Dead. Regardless of the genre (and Mr. Jones does some solid genre-bending), this album is still signature Billy Jones. The lyrics are thoughtful and relevant, and the vocal delivery rolls like a familiar old car down a winding country road - like the kind that Jones has been traveling for the past ten years: bringing his craft from town to town.