Hang Jones

Hang Jones

BandAmericanaAcoustic

Hang Jones sounds like a raucous collaboration of Steve Earle and Kurt Cobain on a hot July front porch night. His latest release is an outlaw concept album complete with gunfights, hangings, sex, and revenge. Jones can perform solo, or with his backing band: upright bass, fiddle, guitar/mandolin.

Biography

The best Americana songs all have one thing in common: someone has to get shot. Singer/songwriter Hang Jones took this to heart when writing the songs for his debut album The Ballad of Carlsbad County. What began as a collection of bluegrass inspired country-rock songs evolved into a Western Outlaw-themed story album complete with hangings, gunfights, love, sex, and revenge. Jones credits two of his songs as catalysts for inspiring him to write a concept record. “When I began writing material for the new record, ‘Caroline’ and ‘Red’ were my favorites. I liked them for their cinematic quality, and they were a lot of fun to sing, but when I noticed that they could be chapters in a much larger story, I got really excited about rewriting all the other tunes to fit into the story.”

The album chronicles the life and fall of William Bishop. Born the son of a notorious outlaw, William, at an early age, witnesses his father’s capture and hanging. He spends his developmental years wrestling with the stigma of his father’s crimes (and punishment) while his mother stresses that William’s fate is not the same as his father’s. “I liked the idea of playing with free will versus destiny. Put the protagonist into situations where if he does what he feels is morally right, he will eventually wind up on the same road as his father, a man he himself views as amoral.” Each track on the album is a chapter in the story, taking William, and the listener, to the inevitable crossroads where our hero will have to decide his own fate: hang like his father, or live free like his mother taught him.

Jones is no newcomer to cinematic songwriting. His songs have been featured in the film “American Venus” (2007), as well as NBC prime time television shows “Friday Night Lights,” “The Black Donnellys,” and “Quarterlife.” Jones is also a skilled front man; honing his live performances in his Americana rock band Del Bombers, opening for such legendary acts as Social Distortion, The Blasters, and The Cadillac Tramps as well as several headlining North American tours.

To promote his latest creation Jones has embraced the many tools available on the web to get his music to his fans. A series of music videos have been created, allowing the viewer to get deeper into the storyline of the album. The videos will be released in installments on the Hang Jones website (www.hangjones.com), as well as several peer to peer and social networking sites. Modeled after an old radio serial show, each video has a cliffhanger ending, building up tension for the video that follows. In addition, Jones has added a "Legend" page to his site, where visitors can read how each song on the album ties into the overall story. While the web has begun to bridge the gap between the artist and fan, Jones still believes the best way to get his music, and story, to the masses is through performing live. Jones' live show is stripped down and gritty, captivating the audience through the power of the music, and entangling them in the story through weaving vignettes of the album's principal characters through the songs and spoken interludes. Jones is currently performing throughout Northern California, and will take his act on the road beginning this spring.

Lyrics

Arm Yourselves

Written By: Stephen Grillos

Heard the Sheriff's refrain
Said we gotta keep on keepin' on
But with my brother laying dead
A little fight is just the medicine

I can't sleep through dreaming, of getting even
Until I see him swigging
I'm singing

Come on people arm yourselves
We gotta keep a moving 'cause death is on the trail
I'll sing it again
Come on people arm yourselves
When we catch ourselves this scoundrel man we'll send him straight to hell
I'll sing it again

They say I'm no match for his gun
And I'm the last of my father's sons
But if it don't come down to this
I'll regret it til my dying breath

I just can't believe this, whole town is yella
That won't stop my leaving
So I'm singing

Come on people arm yourselves
We gotta keep a moving 'cause death is on the trail
I'll sing it again
Come on people arm yourselves
When we catch ourselves this scoundrel man we'll send him straight to hell
I'll sing it again

And I think, it's about time we make some noise. Again

Mexico Line

Written By: Stephen Grillos

Woke up this morning
Pistol in my hand
I guess that I'm still worried
That they're on my trail

It don't seem to matter
He drew first but too slow
They say I'll swing for murder
But they'll have to catch me first

I wonder what possessed him
To meet my father's son
I'm guilty of self-defense
But not what my daddy done
So I may look just like him
And now I'm a wanted man
But I'm prayin' there's a difference
Between him and what I am

They won't lay me by his side
I will burn down any man who tries

They won't let me decide
They had their proof as soon as that young man died
But they won't take me alive
I'm a free man when my boots cross that Mexico line

Alive

Written By: Stephen Grillos

I got the blood of two men
I can't wash off my hands
And the girl that I love
Is up in heaven above
I got the drop on you
I pull the trigger and all my troubles are through

And I never, felt alive as I do right now

I got no time to waste
But still I hesitate
I've got no beef with this man
He's got no gun in his hand
But he'll keep coming for me
As long as he's still breathing I'll never be free

And I never, felt alive as I do right now
And I never, felt alive as I do right now

I guess my choice is made
I aim to walk away
I lay my guns to the ground
But when I turn around
He cocks that hammer and squeeze
With a thud I fall down to my knees

And I never, felt alive as I do right now
And I never, felt alive as I do right now
And I never, felt alive as I do right now

Discography

The Ballad of Carlsbad County (2009)

Set List

Standard Set of all original material runs 45 - 60 min.

Cover tunes include Tom Waits' "Tango 'til They're Sore", Steve Earle's "Mercenary Song", and Rev. Gary Davis' "Death Don't Have No Mercy."