Craig Vance - guitar; Chris Leske- banjo, 2nd guitar (#6); Steve Belcher - bass; Fred Lantz - mandolin, vocal (#4); Jeff Wisor - fiddle, vocal (#10); Unidentified Dobro Player - dobro
Dundee /Rat On a Harp /Ride The Wild Turkey /Vamp In The Middle /Big Sciota /Fanny Hill /Granny White Special /Big Bug /Old Grey Coat / Who's That Who /Song for Larry Fine /Cat's Eye /Grand Oak /
I hate to compare one band to another, but this time I have to. The Noble Jones Project brings lot of the same energy to bluegrass that the Courtney Johnson-era Newgrass Revival once did. But this is not just another Newgrass Clone. NJP consists of five young musicians who are all masters of their respective instruments. Synergy is a good name for this, their first album, as they all seem to derive energy from each others playing. Covering tunes from composers as diverse as David Grisman, Darol Angor, Mark O'Connor, Tony Rice, and John Hartford, they still put their personal stamp on each one and make it all sound fresh.
It's the self-penned tunes that really shine though. "Rat on a Harp," "Song for Larry Fine," and "Grand Oak" allow each musician to really show their stuff. There are two pretty traditional-sounding tunes attributed to J. Reischmann that are outstanding as well. "Big Bug" is almost too fast for my CD player to keep up with. It smokes! And "Cat's Eye" is a pretty song that demonstrates that each one of these guys can play pretty as well as fast.
I don't know if this band plans on touring or if this was a one-shot get-together. If they do tour, and happen to come around in your area, make sure you go see them. You won't be disappointed. If you like fast driving Instrumental Newgrassy Bluegrass, get yourself a copy of this disc and be prepared to smile a lot.