Sion Russell Jones first caught my attention when Roger Schmidt showed me his fantastic song Lost No More. What a fantastic tune. During the intro and verses, nuanced finger picking rises and falls like the breath of an animal. Coupled with a subtly anthemic chorus of, “Close your eyes, float away, face the truth, another day, fading youth, stay away, falling skies, on the bay,” Sion has struck a beautiful balance in this song. It’s probably fitting that his next album, slated for a March 2014 release, will be called Lost No More.
So I lied, or forgot something. I had actually seen one of Sion’s videos last summer prior to seeing lost no more. It’s a really circus-atrical (new word) video. It’s a new word to describe something that’s circus like and theatrical. Just watch the video:
Q & A With Sion Russell Jones
Luke: You’ve played a few festivals before, which did you have the most fun at and why?
Sion: The best festival I’ve played at so far is SXSW (South by south west) in Austin, Texas. The atmosphere and spirit of the event is an awe inspiring thing to be a part of. The shows that I played were all incredibly well received and the audiences were plentiful and tentative. The experience was truly something that I’ll never forget and I hope I get the opportunity to return again one day.
Luke: You went to university for music in Wales, how has your music education helped you in your singer songwriter career?
Sion: University helped a huge amount but not in the way you might think. The best education a singer-songwriter can attain is life experience and there was plenty of that in university. Meeting new people and the social aspect provided a lot of inspiration. My first album was written and recorded during my time at uni and there are a lot of lyrical references pointing at the experiences I had.
Luke: I noticed you have a cover of The Tallest Man On Earth on your YouTube channel. Very nicely done, I’m a fan of his songs too. I recently found out he plays a Furch guitar for certain songs, were you aware of this?
Sion: Yes I was! I am a big fan of TMOE and I noticed a while ago that he was using a Furch guitar in some of his videos. They are beautiful instruments and it’s no surprise at all that he would choose to use one. The versatility of these guitars opens up a wide spectrum of eclecticism in terms of the genre they can be applied to and I can produce all of the sounds I’m looking for with the models I use.
Luke: Any plans to tour US and Canada for your new album?
Sion: This year, I’m focusing predominantly on Europe. I have shows lined up in Switzerland, France, Austria and Germany. There are also some talks of me heading over to Japan for a few concerts as my new album ‘Lost No More’ may potentially get licensed for distribution over there. I toured America and Canada back in 2012 and the experience was incredible. Depending on how things progress this year I may get the opportunity to head back next year. Fingers crossed!
Luke: What led you to Stonebridge guitars?
Sion: These guitars were recommended to me by a friend who is a very talented finger-style player. As soon as I looked into the instruments I was blown away by the build quality and overall tone they seemed to have. I was actually able to play music with a higher level of complexity as soon as I committed to buying one. Today, my guitar travels everywhere with me and I have used it on every album, EP, live recording, radio session and concert since getting it. So as I’m sure you can imagine, I was ecstatic when Stonebridge offered to endorse me!
Luke: What Stonebridge models do you own?
Sion: I have two Stonebridge guitars that I use regularly during my performances. I tend to keep one in standard tuning while the other I use for songs with alternate tunings such as DADGAD and open G. The guitar that I keep in alternate tunings is a G23SR-C – this one has a cutaway with a large body so its ideal for playing higher up the neck or using percussive styles while maintaining a rich tone. The main instrument I use for the majority of my set is an OM32SM Bluegrass series. I have owned this guitar since 2009 and its literally my pride and joy.
Luke: Coronation Street is quite a big hit TV series on CBC here in Canada (where I live). What season and episodes was your music featured in? I’m going to stream that episode online tonight. Tell me something about having your music in the show.
I’m not exactly sure which particular episodes the songs were used on but it was a surreal experience hearing myself in the background of such a widely viewed television show. Currently, my songs have been used on a lot of soap operas and dramas and it’s been a great help in exposing my work to a larger audience.