Diana Jones - Museum of Appalachia Recordings
With a career stretching back over a decade it’s perhaps only in the past few years that Diana Jones has gotten any real notice in the music industry. Her 2006 effort, My Remembrance Of You, was incredibly well reviewed and she's slowly found an audience with new albums ever since. On her latest, Museum of Appalachia Recordings, she’s delved deep into the rich catalogue of American music history to write a set of songs steeped in an old time sound. Appalachian music has its roots on these fair isles, with aspects of English balladry and traditional celtic sounds, laying a path in the US for early country and bluegrass, and gaining huge popularity in the folk revival of the 60s. Today’s favourite banjo pluckers Mumford & Sons owe a heavy debt to this influence - just listen to their foot stomping on Babel.
Once you become accustomed to the slight lack in variation, Museum... becomes a special experience. 'O Sinner' is an authentic slice of country simplicity, carried along by Jones' distinguished voice and the levity of banjo and fiddle. Songs about abusive relationships ('Drunkard's Daughter', 'Sparrow'), the cruelties of love ('Ohio', the jaunty 'Love O Love'), and the toughness of life ('Orphan's Home', 'Tennessee'), and temptation ('Satan') are all genre standards. The incredible thing is the recording process: Jones brought her book of compositions into the real Museum of Appalachia, and then sat in a room for two days with just a roaring fire, a mandolin, a fiddle, and a guitar for company. With that desire for authenticity, it leaves you in no doubt that this is a perfect tribute to the tradition of mountain music that is its inspiration.