When: Sat., April 28, 8 p.m. 2012
Veteran bluegrass singer and guitarist Chris Jones doesn't make it to Chicago often, so it's a strange coincidence that on Saturday he has to compete with an Old Town School show by the Special Consensus—the band where he more or less got his start in the 80s. Since launching his solo career in the mid-90s, Jones has mixed honky-tonk and folk into his bluegrass, and you can hear it clearly on the recent anthology Lost Souls & Free Spirits (Rebel), which contains songs from his three albums for the Rebel label between 1997 and 2000, a few cuts from 2009's self-released Cloud of Dust, and three new tracks. Jones doesn't have the typical high-lonesome bluegrass voice, and his rich, slightly congested tenor is more relaxed than urgent—he sounds a bit like Gordon Lightfoot, and in fact Lost Souls & Free Spirits includes a version of Lightfoot's "Ribbon of Darkness." His regular band—banjoist Ned Luberecki, bassist Jon Weisberger, and mandolinist Mark Stoffel—brings a similar subtlety to its fiery displays of chops and deft interplay. —Peter Margasak Alfonso Ponticelli opens.