For Heidi Gerber, the CD's coproducer and recording engineer, Unquiet is a "family-spun folk record with attitude." Gerber, whose work as a recording engineer has received numerous accolades, including two Grammy nominations, also says of Unquiet, "Excellent musicianship plus great personalities equals a project that was fun to record and a CD that I'll truly enjoy listening to."
The Joneses-father Chuck, mother Brenda and 17-year-old daughter Chenoa-recorded Unquiet at Bias Recording Co. in Springfield, Va.
On the album, Chuck Jones plays the piano, acoustic guitar, Anglo concertina, pennywhistle and drum, and sings lead and backing vocals; Chenoa plays the acoustic guitar and sings lead and backing vocals; and Brenda contributes vocals. Coproducer Gerber, formerly with Bias and now head of her own company, All Access Audio Inc., plays electric bass on several songs, and other Washington area musicians also make guest appearances on the CD.
A highlight of the album is "Tom Deadlight," a rousing sea song with music by Hyattsville musician Ted Porter of the group Big Blow and the Bushwackers and words from a poem by Herman Melville. The title song, the English ballad "The Unquiet Grave," features a haunting lead vocal by Chenoa and bravura work on the bodhran and bones by guest musician Myron Bretholz.
The album also features Richard Thompson's "Dimming of the Day" and the country-flavored "How About You?" by Jesse Winchester and "Satisfied Mind" by Jack Rhodes andRed Hayes. The latter song features guest musician Akira Otsuka on the mandolin.
Also on the album are Stephen Foster's classic "Hard Times," the sea chantey "Whup Jamboree," "Hal-an-Tow," "Rattlin' Roarin' Willie" (with words by Robert Burns), "Over the Water to Charlie," "Country Life," and "Sorry the Day I Was Married."
Coproducer Lawrence Paulson, president of Shambling Gate Records, said, "What attracted us to this project was the naturalness of The Jones Family's music. Their voices have a pure, true blend. They're also excellent musicians who are sensitive to the lyrics of their songs. It's a rare combination."
For Chuck Jones, a college professor, the album represents a return to an active involvement in performing music after an absence of over a decade. Besides doing a great deal of solo work, he performed as a duo with David DiGiuseppe and in the groups Pratie Heads, Big Zucchini Washboard Bandits, and Michael Fishback and the Durham Rangers.
1. Rattlin' Roarin' Willie
2. Tom Deadlight
3. How About You?
4. Unquiet Grave
5. Satisfied Mind
6. Sorry the Day/Whup Jamboree
7. Dimming of the Day
9. Hard Times
10. Country Life
11. Over the Water to Charlie