Chris Jones - Dacw'r Tannau
The singer-songwriter and ‘contemporary folk balladeer’ Chris Jones was brought up in Cwm y Glo near Caernarfon in north Wales, but graduated in Fine Art at Bristol University before spending a period as a Life Drawing teacher. He had started singing traditional Welsh songs unaccompanied, but then learnt to play the guitar and picked up songs from all the Celtic countries and England as a student. He then started arranging the songs to suit his own unique style of playing from singing in folk festivals and sessions.
Chris is most frequently compared to Meic Stevens, which is always a compliment, but his songwriting and guitar playing are more reminiscent of Bert Jansch or John Renbourn. Apart from Meic Stevens and Plethyn from Wales, Chris also lists Dick Goughan from Scotland, Christie Moore and Planxy from Ireland and Woody Guthrie and Nick Jones as his influences.
“I see myself more as part of the living tradition in development, and I enjoy the process and challenge of re-interpreting the folk songs for a contemporary audience” says Chris
Like all of these great characters and revered guitarists, Chris’ songs reverberate with a life hard-lived. His music had to take a back seat when he suffered two, major, debilitating accidents. These are, perhaps, the reason his name and his music aren’t better known.
“When Chris recorded a session for Georgia Ruth’s C2 programme at the tail-end of 2013, the yearning, unaffected beauty of his songs – the truth in his rich baritone – reduced the battle-hardened engineers and production staff to tears. And yes, that’s as rare an occurrence as you might imagine.”
Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales
Chris has also been chosen to be part of the Horizons – a scheme delivered by BBC Cymru Wales in partnership with Arts Council Wales to develop new, independent contemporary music in Wales – this year Horizons promotes 12 artists.
‘Dacw’r tannau’ was recorded in Sain Studios, Llandwrog near Caernarfon in March this year and produced by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci member John Lawrence.