Ian Jones Results Not Typical IanJonesMusic.com
“…I gathered all my courage,
I walked up to you and wanted you to dance
And you walked out in front of me,
straight out that door before I got the chance…”
Results Not Typical, smooth-voiced, Pacific Northwest troubadour Ian Jones’ debut* recording is not what one necessarily expects to encounter in 2023.
A bit honky-tonk, classic country, an equal slice of poetic Americana via ‘from-the-stool’ wisdom without even a taste of indie-pop influence or other contemporary genre shape-shifting, Results Not Typical has much to offer.
The asterisk above is because Jones has an album from a decade ago—not quite as rootsy—on his website, and he was part of the Jones Family Fortune roots-rock outfit some years ago. Hell, even the early April release date for Results Not Typical is rather misleading; the album was previously unveiled in 2019 just prior to the pandemic, and is being now given a broader opportunity to capture interested ears.
Based in Washington, there is nothing separating Jones from those who choose to reside within Nashville’s 615 area code. He would easily hold his own and more on any stage in the city that once housed all country dreams. The outstanding “Someday” reminds me of Darrell Scott’s early realism, and this thread of natural insight runs through each of Results Not Typical’s eleven songs.
Instrumentally, the songs are professionally presented and even border on ‘slick’ to these aging ears, but that doesn’t detract from Jones’ homestyle approach to lyric writing and singing.
Numbers such as “Lost Highway” (the album’s strongest) and “Rollin’” are satisfying, the type of songs that would be embraced during a late spring drive, windows down with the wind and sun streaming through the listeners’ hair. One senses quite quickly that Jones is an autobiographical writer, capturing moments from his life to embellish and craft into memorable narratives.
Several songs are presented with a more apparent piano base (Dave Palmer), including “Have Mercy,” “Again,” and “She Is Lost.” Here Jones appears to be channeling an earlier time where radio playlists didn’t seem quite as restrictive as today. “Without You I’m Lost” pumps us up, a catchy hook-filled song with a horn section ratcheting things to another level.
The rhythm section of Joey Waronker (drums) and Johnny Flaugher/Gabe Noel (bass) is well-appreciated throughout, including on the closing “Goodbyes Are the Hardest Words (Flaugher) as well as on “Athens Smiles” and “You Can’t” (Noel). Pedal steel (album producer Jesse Siebenberg) highlights a number of songs.
To me, Results Not Typical sounds like a really strong country-roots album. With its heavy reliance on piano and other keys, it may not immediately capture the ears it is intended to attract. My advice is, Give it a chance. You will find that the longer you live with Ian Jones’ songs, the more they become a genuine part of your lived experience.