Chris Jones has been named Broadcaster Of The Year at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual awards for his work as a DJ on Sirius Satellite Radio’s bluegrass channel, Jones also took home a co-writer’s Song Of The Year trophy for “Fork In The Road,” the title track of an Album Of The Year winner by the Infamous Stringdusters. The double-barrelled achievement marked the first time in the organization’s history that a single person has won honors for both musical and non-musical accomplishments.
Yet to those who already know him, the dual awards came as no surprise. For though he’s best known as a bluegrass artist, Chris Jones has always had a field of vision too wide to be contained within a single dimension. Perhaps that’s been shaped by his voice — low and mournful rather than sharp and soaring–or perhaps by the way he’s felt compelled to write so many of the songs he sings, filling them with a heartfelt intimacy and contemporary depth that’s still rare in the genre. Even when he’s been most firmly planted within the bluegrass mainstream, these qualities have made him stand out from his peers – and have garnered him critical notices for his personal musical style and sound. And when he’s brought those same qualities into the world of broadcasting, the results have been no less striking.