Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Aug 03rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Songs of the Mountains

blog_noise_DianaJonesDiana Jones gets ‘High’ channeling Appalachian tunes
Purity is inherent in the songs of Appalachia. Nashville-based singer and songwriter Diana Jones believes that the old mountain hymns and forest ballads continue to ring true to this day because the people who composed them did so without any pretense.
“They weren’t singing because they had a career, or wanted to go on stage,” Jones says of the music first pioneered in the mountain ranges of the eastern United States. “They were singing because it was a part of their community and society.”

The progenitors of the music were attempting to make sense of natural disasters, love, crop booms and busts, life and death, says Jones, who adeptly channels the sounds of the Appalachian range on her latest record, High Atmosphere, released April 5.
The music of Appalachia has always resonated with Jones, who will bring her show to Don Quixote’s in Felton on Wednesday, June 15. She says that even as she grew up in New York, she always felt a connection to the melodies and stories she heard coming from the mountains.

But it wasn’t until Jones—who was adopted as an infant—found her birth family living in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee that she began to fully understand how deep the connection was.
There, she was reconnected with her grandfather, Robert Lee Maranville, a Knoxville guitarist who honed his chops as a young man playing in bands with Chet Atkins. Maranville, Jones says, helped her realize that the music of the mountains was in her blood.

“It was really great to get it from him first-hand,” Jones says of learning about the Appalachian tradition from her grandfather. Before she met Maranville, Jones says she felt that playing mountain songs would have been somehow disingenuous. “It gave me the sense that I could sing that music too, that it was a part of me.”
After Maranville’s death in 2000, Jones fled the big city, leaving behind the East Coast folk music scene that had shaped her early songwriting. She sealed herself inside of a small cabin in the woods of Massachusetts and started over.

During Jones’ hermetical retreat, the seeds of her reinvention were sown. In 2006, she eulogized her late grandfather with My Remembrance of You, which she followed with Better Times Will Come, and an EP, Sparrow.
Her voice, which she describes as “quirky,” is a perfect fit for her old-timey style. She sings in a low, earthy twang that reinforces the austerity of her plain-spoken lyrical constructions. To add dynamism, Jones has the ability to seamlessly break into a breathy falsetto and slip back down again before the listener has a chance to notice.

Her musical abilities have earned her favorable mentions from music critics in The New York Times and on NPR’s “All Songs Considered” program.
On High Atmosphere, Jones, who normally sings a cappella or over sparse guitar accompaniment, is backed by a full band. The album was recorded live, which Jones says helped capture the songs in their most natural state.

When Jones plays in Felton Wednesday, however, she will be solo—and that’s just how she likes to be on stage. “I think that I really like that intimacy,” she says. “I really like that feeling. Because to me, it’s more about telling a story.”


INFO: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $10. 603-2294.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover