Music as a time machine, now there’s a concept. We all know that songs have a way of making you remember where you were when you first heard them, who you were with, where you were going, as well as a host of less tangible feelings. Laney Jones takes this a stage further and you can almost feel the decades peeling away as her music transports you to a whole different, earlier time. Mixing bluegrass and Appalachian folk with a contemporary vibe she craft songs that are aware of the rich musical heritage they spring from but are unique and forward looking enough to avoid becoming traditionalist pastiches or museum pieces that seem to just tread water.
Despite the wonderfully crafted songs, the loose, lilting delivery that only comes from great musicianship and the channelling of vintage sounds, it is Laney’s amazing voice that grabs your attention first of all. Aptly described elsewhere (which I can’t improve on, so I won’t even try) as “a mix of lemon, molasses, gin and gunpowder” it seems to mix youthful innocence with a more worldly knowledge.
It is acts such as Laney Jones who will keep these older music traditions alive, root genres that have provided the platform and informed subsequent music and musicians. By breathing new energy and passion into them and giving them a slight re-package, she appeals to the traditionalist crowd but also finds new converts in more mainstream places. This album is the very essence of how music survives and remains relevant. All I can say is Alison Krauss, watch out!