Originally created 03/07/03

Ramblin' Rhodes: A Christmas offering turns into an album

When Augusta musician Jamie Jones recorded one of his grandmother's songs as a Christmas gift, he didn't expect it to become a full-blown album, Down by the Railroad Tracks.

Mr. Jones and his former People Who Must bandmate, John Kolbeck, co-produced the album and composed the music, which spans the spectrums of country, folk, Americana, jazz, rock and blues. The lyrics for 11 of the songs were written by Mr. Jones' grandmother, Mary C. Norris, of Camak, Ga., and the lyrics for two of the songs were written by his aunt, Gladys C. Mayes, of Thomson.

Mrs. Mayes also painted the CD cover, which depicts steam engine Locomotive 750 heading into downtown Camak.

"This album is not exactly easy listening music but it's still easy to listen to," said Mr. Jones, a drummer with such diverse bands as Impulse Ride, People Who Must, Horse Creek Band, The Robbie Ducey Band and Mr. K's Nashville Sound. "The songs in this album are so heartfelt, I figured that if I enjoyed them so much, and they spoke to me, then they would speak to other people as well."

The CD gets its public debut when Mr. Jones and Mr. Kolbeck perform tonight at the Fox's Lair, 349 Telfair St. There will be a free, nonsmoking show at 8 p.m., followed by a smoking-permitted show at 9:30 p.m. with a $2 cover charge. The duo expects a little help from friends, including guitarist/vocalist Pat Blanchard.

Mrs. Norris and Mrs. Mayes wrote "a ton of songs" in the late 1980s and early '90s and created their own music publishing company, Silver Dash Music, to try and get them recorded. Mr. Jones told his grandmother that as his present to her for the Christmas of 2000, he would record any song of her choice. She submitted A Working Man Dreams; about a man who hangs in there with his tough job so he can have some money to make his big dreams come true down the road.

Mr. Jones talked his Mr. Kolbeck into joining him on the recording project and later gave him a copy of the completed work. They received a good response and decided to do a full CD of the songs.

Down by the Railroad Tracks
"I'm The Only One"

Appropriately, the duo performed songs from the album for two years at Camak's Railroad Days festival. "It's not like Woodstock or something big, but we have had about 40 or 50 people at the festival standing around listening to our songs," Mr. Jones said.

Don Rhodes has written about country music for 32 years. He can be reached at (706) 823-3214 or at ramblin@morris.com.


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