Timing. Winter timing. The 2018 Great Britain and Ireland cold wave, affectionately dubbed the Beast from the East by the media, did its upmost to disrupt the 2018 Ireland tour by Chris Jones And The Night Drivers. It forced the quartet, originally formed by Chris Jones in 1995, to ride out the worst of the unusually severe weather in Northern Ireland while wiping out some of the early shows of the 11 gigs originally scheduled for the tour. By the time they made it to south for the show in Dún Laoghaire’s Pavilion Theatre, one of the last of the aforementioned 11 originally scheduled gigs, the damned Beast was but a shivering memory, but still got more than one mention from the band throughout their 90-minute set.
Chris Jones, satirical columnist on Bluegrass Today & 2007 IBMA award-winning songwriter & broadcaster (he’s an established voice on Sirius XM’S Bluegrass Junction, where he broadcasts from the forlorn Canadian north), is no stranger to Ireland. Ditto for Mark Stoffel (originally from Munich, Germany) & Jon Weisberger, also an IBMA award-winning songwriter (in 2012). But for the newest Night Driver, Front Royal, VA native Gina Clowes, Ireland was a new, unexpectedly wintry adventure. I made a point of saying hello, as I always do to the 5-string picker. I enjoyed Gina’s recent solo project, True Colors, an acoustic swing-heavy progressive bluegrass release of mostly original compositions, many of which were featured tonight. As it turns out, my favourite track from the album, the upbeat ‘Dust Can Wait’, is Gina’s least favourite. Oh well.
A Night Driver’s Encore?
The Night Drivers will be back. Of that you can be assured. To stay abreast of their current & future whereabouts, check out the Chris Jones And The Night Drivers
website). And here’s hoping if they do come back that the weather will be a tad more agreeable.