John Jones
"Never Stop Moving" - 2015(CD 87277)

"Rising Road" - 2009 (CD 87179)

tracklisting & textbook - click on image


Big Songs from a small country
JOHN JONES is best known as the powerful, charismatic singer with OYSTERBAND, one of the leading folk and roots outfits on the UK music scene, acclaimed by music critics and fans alike; recipients of numerous Music Awards. The group more recently reunited with an early collaborator - the singer June Tabor - and took this second pairing on tour, to the Folk Awards and on 'Later… With Jools' on TV. John also has a parallel solo career and 'Never Stop Moving' is his second and most creative album.

The background to the album is interesting in that it came at a time of change for both Oysterband and John Jones. The group had lost another of its long-time members, Ray "Chopper" Cooper, to a solo career and had begun to simplify towards a more spare, trad rootsy sound. Then, out of the blue, John had a brush with a serious illness and, as these things so often do, it focused his songwriting even more clearly.

"'Never Stop Moving', says John, "is the album I have been making alongside (Oysterband's) ''Diamonds on the Water' over the past three years, inspired in no small part by my walking tours across the length and breadth of the country. Hopefully it reveals my fascination for the hidden villages and voices of this beautiful, curious and contradictory country and the haunting stories that exist beneath the surface. Inevitably my own story, having been diagnosed with colon cancer at the end of last year, became intertwined with it and following a really creative period, what I always thought of as my English folk, country album of big songs from small stories has become an expression of my own revival and celebration of being alive. I wanted there to be a mood of gentle uplift on the album, even in the darker stories and, when the song 'Never Stop Moving' arrived late, it seemed to capture my own feeling of being a survivor and became the title.

"Somewhere and sometime in my life", he continues, "the grandeur of folk music, the power of story-telling, church music, punk and Northern Soul have intertwined and helped form my music. Somehow my voice just gets stronger and more inventive and at my age that is pretty amazing. The songs are a product of my imagination, which seems to be freer to roam these days, reckless but not as bitter or angry".

Along for the musical ride is a host of talented musicians and singers, including Al Scott, Benji Kirkpatrick, Lindsey Oliver, Tim Cotterell, Boff Whalley, Rowan Godel and François Deville, their instrumental and background vocal contributions a perfect fit for John's lead vocals, compositions and musical vision.

"I always think that unlike the small, personal songs of a huge country that seems to characterize, say, American country music, British folk ballads here on such a small island have an epic scale and sweep to them. 'Big songs from a small country' is how I'd like to sum up this album but of course that might be a hostage to fortune".