Clayton Jones
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Clayton Jones

Franklin, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Franklin, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Americana Country


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Still working on that hot first release.



Clayton Jones began his career with The Groundhawgs, a group originally conceived as a songwriting project that would resurrect the sound of old-time Appalachian string bands, yet evolved into a full-fledged six-piece string band through the fusion of bluegrass, old-time, jazz and swing, poetry and blues, classic country, and a little bit of Southern rock. Originally from Northwest Georgia and East Tennessee, the Jones brothers, Clayton (lead vocals and banjo) and Clark (vocals and guitar), founded the band in 2001 after the ghost of Gram Parsons visited their dream(s) and told them to do so. Later on, Mick Kinney (fiddle), brother of Drivin' and Cryin' s Kevin Kinney, and music-maker Jason Timms (upright bass) joined the lineup in 2002. Shortly thereafter the band debuted at the Howard Finster Music and Folk Art Festival where Reverend Finster's ghost cheered them on as Jones sang "Elegy for a Man of Visions".  Thus, the band began performing at venues such as The Earl and Eddies Attic in Atlanta, as well as festivals such as Blueridge Harvest Festival, Americana Folk Festival in Nashville, the Tomato Art Festival in Nashville, Night Fall in Chattanooga, Dogwood Festival in Atlanta. 

The band went through many changes, Clayton Jones on guitar, David Long on mandolin, Laney House on banjo, and Mickey Kinney and Kevin Osburne on bass. Their live shows are intense and fiery like Bill Monroe's traditions, but in the studio, they are eclectic and innovative like John Hartford. Put simply, the Groundhawgs are a skilled group of songwriters and craftsmen who take their music seriously all the while enjoying themselves.  

In fall of 2004, the Groundhawgs released their first album, an independent and self-titled effort co-produced by Mike Compton of the Nashville Bluegrass Band. 

Mr. Compton also co-produced The Groundhawgs' second album, Little Big Easy Volume 1, in the spring of 2010. Most recently, The Groundhawgs recorded Little Big Easy Volume 2 in Nashville, Tn along with Shad Cobb on fiddle. 

After 10 years with The Groundhawgs, Northwest Georgia bluegrass/Americana band, Jones went solo. As for highlights present and future, Jones’ first solo album, backed by his new band The Bucks, is entitled Revolver. It was released in 2013. The songs are not only well crafted from his strong literary standpoint, but are fused with the Appalachian styles from his childhood, nuances of reggae, resonating vocals, and country blues. The songs are gritty and beautifull. Rugged and polished. There is Jones’ unique guitar style, and there are also subtle world rhythms found within these songs. The songs are much like a cycle of short stories–there are wayfaring preachers on meth, drug dealers, Chinese workers committing suicide,soldiers–people scared by the town they’ve grown up in but in the end, they find redemption in Revolver. There are gospel songs in here. There are love songs. Yes, thematically, the songs touch on the complexities of love, being from a small town, and—sort of like the songs from The Groundhawgs’ self-titled release (2004)—cosmic forces and outer space. Of Jones’ songs, critic Cuba Rhodes proclaimed, “When I think of Jones’ solid song writing and musicianship, I can’t help wondering if a song about Earthlings (“The Planet Alabamie Rag”) might be exactly what Gram Parsons intended when proposed his dream of Cosmic American Music.”

Now Jones has new album on the way. Produced by Phil Harris of PhBalanced Recordings in Nashville, this new collection of songs seems to pick up where Jones’s last album, Revolver (2013),  left off. Thus, Nashville for Jesus hits on similar themes of redemption and love, yet these songs are proof that Jones has evolved as a craftsman. Neo-traditonal country, funk, gospel, blues, and psychedelic Americana overtones situate Nashville for Jesus firmly within country music history. Backed by Jon Redford on drums, Jon Estes on bass, Randy Boen on guitar, and Cheyenne Medders on keys, this album is sure to be one of the best to come out of Nashville this year. 

Band Members