High Resolution Band Photo
Chris Jones is a quadruple threat as a singer, a songwriter, a guitarist, and, thanks to his role hosting SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, as one of the most widely heard broadcasting voices in bluegrass music. His immediately recognizable voice, warm sense of humor and abundance of talent have combined to make him one of the music’s most distinctive personalities, and one of its strongest artists.
Following apprenticeships with bluegrass legend Dave Evans and Chicago’s durable Special Consensus, Chris moved to Nashville in 1989 as a member of the band Weary Hearts, where his colleagues included Ron Block (Alison Krauss & Union Station), Mike Bub (Del McCoury Band, 18 South) and acclaimed mandolin master, the late Butch Baldassari. Forming Chris Jones & The Night Drivers in the mid 1990s, he’s led the band through a set of stellar recordings and tours while appearing and recording with some of the world’s most respected musicians including The Chieftains, Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clements and Tom T. Hall. He has performed on the The Grand Ole Opry with Laurie Lewis, Lynn Morris, and The Whitstein Brothers. And, while the Night Drivers have made extensive use of his original songs, Chris’ songs have also been recorded by other artists, including the Gibson Brothers, Lou Reid & Carolina and The Chapmans.
Chris’ range of talents took center stage at the IBMA’s Awards Show in 2007, where he earned both a Song Of The Year award as a co-writer of “Fork In The Road,” the title track of the year’s Album Of The Year by the Infamous Stringdusters, and the organization’s Broadcaster Of The Year trophy. The occasion marked the first time that both music and industry awards have gone to a single person. Chris had previously won an IBMA award for Recorded Event of the Year for his role in the album Larry Sparks 40.
Since then, Chris has continued to draw attention for all aspects of his multi-faceted career, including a 2014 IBMA award for Print/Media Person of the Year for his widely read humor column for the bluegrass web site Bluegrass Today, and a second award for Broadcaster of the Year in 2015.
He and the band are currently signed to one of bluegrass music’s top record labels, Mountain Home Music Company, for whom they’ve recorded two critically acclaimed albums and generated five #1 songs on the bluegrass music charts. All together, Chris has had nine chart-topping songs, and has won six IBMA awards.
About the band
Whether it’s in the studio or on stage, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers are making some of the most distinctively elegant yet driving music to be heard anywhere today, and they’re delivering it with a unique blend of dry wit, emotional authenticity and broad humor that’s won the loyalty of a growing number of fans across the country, from Merlefest in North Carolina to California’s Huck Finn Jubilee, and around the world.
Steve Martin referred to the Night Drivers as “. . . some of the best players in bluegrass! Chris Jones’ voice is there with the great masters.”
The band is led by Chris’ soulful lead-singing, songwriting, and solid rhythm and lead guitar. Chris boasts extensive performance credits as a sideman with artists like Lynn Morris, Vassar Clements, Special Consensus, Dave Evans, Earl Scruggs, and the acclaimed Irish band The Chieftains. Mark Stoffel, who is originally from Munich, Germany, has a mandolin style that perfectly fits the band sound with his beautiful tone, taste, and rhythmic sense. Jon Weisberger, whose playing has made him a sought-after fill-in bass player in Nashville with The Del McCoury Band, the Roland White Band, Larry Cordle, and others, anchors the band’s strong rhythmic foundation. Newest member, Gina Clowes, a driving and innovative banjo player, and another contributor of original material, hails from Front Royal, VA. Mountain Home recently signed her as a solo artist as well, releasing her critically acclaimed album, “True Colors.”
The band is also becoming known as a songwriter’s bluegrass band, with Weisberger and Jones now co-writing many of the band’s current songs, and all four members contributing material. Jon has had over 200 of his songs recorded by various other artists as well, from The Infamous Stringdusters to Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, including numerous #1 songs. Chris and Jon are both IBMA award-winning songwriters, Jon being the 2012 Songwriter of the Year, and Chris taking home the trophy for the 2007 Song of the Year for “Fork in the Road.” Altogether, members of Chris Jones & The Night Drivers have won nine IBMA awards and have recorded ten #1 songs, including two from their latest Mountain Home album “Made to Move.”
The Night Drivers also bring name recognition in related fields, as bluegrass fans are well-familiar with Jones for his award-winning work as a SiriusXM DJ, on both Bluegrass Junction and Willie’s Roadhouse. Meanwhile, Jon Weisberger is heard weekly as co-host and producer of Bluegrass Junction’s “Hand Picked with Del McCoury.”