Bluegrass musician Chris Jones netted a unique dual honor in 2007 at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s award. That year, he took home a co-writer’s song of the year trophy for “Fork in the Road,” the title track of an album by the Infamous Stringdusters. Coincidentally, that album was named best of the year. Jones himself won Broadcaster of the Year trophy for his work as a DJ on Sirius Satellite Radio’s bluegrass channel.
That double-barreled achievement marked the first time in the organization’s history that a single person has won honors for both musical and non-musical accomplishments.
However, Jones was no newcomer to the musical spotlight. His resume includes appearances and recordings with some of the world’s most respected musicians including The Chieftains (he was featured on their 2003 U.S. tour), Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clements, Lynn Morris Band, April Verch Band, the McCarters and the award-winning quartet Weary Hearts, among others.
He has performed as a sideman at the Grand Ole Opry and has been seen on such television shows as Conan O’Brien, Emeril Live, and the Grand Ole Opry Live. Jones’ collaboration with legendary country singer/songwriter Tom T. Hall led to the release of the duet “Man On The Side Of The Road” from Chris’ “Just a Drifter” album, which became one of the top five airplay bluegrass songs of 2001. He has also appeared in the PBS series “The Appalachians” as a both a performer and commentator.
Jones and his band, the Night Drivers, are performing in Missoula as part of the Ruby Jewel Jamboree concert series. (See box under photo for ticket information and show time). The series’ finale comes on Aug. 21 with 2013 Grammy-nominated Greg Cahill and Special Consensus.