Rising country star Caroline Jones has dipped her musical toe into quite a few different lanes – from country to pop to folk and more. But for the holidays, the multi-instrumentalist has reworked two Christmas classics into bluegrass masterpieces with the help of New Zealand family band The Trenwiths.
Jones recently debuted a two song “Silver Bells” collection, featuring the songs “Silver Bells” and “Winter Wonderland.” The songs were recorded while Jones resides in New Zealand for several months, a trip that has encouraged her creativity and musical inspiration.
To celebrate the release of the tracks, Sounds Like Nashville has the exclusive premiere of a video featuring Jones and The Trenwiths in the studio recording “Winter Wonderland.” Check it out above (and see some fun bloopers at the end)!
See what Jones told us about the “Silver Bells” collection below and get the songs here!
SLN: Why did you decide to cover “Silver Bells” and “Winter Wonderland?”
Caroline Jones: Those were the first two Christmas classics that The Trenwiths and I jammed to, and serendipitously, both songs work well arranged in bluegrass style!
SLN: What is it about The Trenwiths that inspired you to want to collaborate with them?
CJ: I am currently living in New Zealand for the next few months, and I am enjoying collaborating with the local artists and musicians. In addition to being a fantastic bluegrass band, The Trenwiths are some of the most genuine, funny and down to earth people I’ve ever met. Paul Trenwith, founding member, and his sons, Sam and Tim, have been singing and playing together for 30 years, so of course there is a very special and unique vibe there.
SLN: Can you talk about the arrangement of the songs? They are both more heavily bluegrass than we’ve heard from you before.
CJ: Yes! I love listening to and playing all different styles of music — pop, country, jazz, rock, folk, and now bluegrass. The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, which Paul Trenwith founded 50 years ago, is a musical institution here in New Zealand. I researched and reached out to them, and have been fortunate that they have become great new friends and collaborators. I thought performing some Christmas classics in bluegrass style could be very unique and joyful.
SLN: We’d imagine that New Zealand is quite an inspirational place – can you talk about your trip and how being there may have inspired these covers?
CJ: New Zealand is breathtakingly beautiful. I am here making music, seeing people I love and exploring. The people here are so genuine and good-humored, extremely funny. And the landscape is otherworldly – you can drive an hour or two out of Auckland and be in some of the most majestic and remote settings I’ve ever experienced. All this new life experience certainly deepens my creative well.
SLN: Can you share some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
CJ: Going house to house caroling with my family every year. Christmas turkey dinner, of course. Cozy fires and hot chocolate. The smell of Christmas trees. I could go on and on 🙂
SLN: 2020 has obviously been a crazy year – we’re gearing up for a new year in just a few weeks. What can we expect from you and what are some of your goals? S
CJ: Release my second album! I am so, so proud of this next body of work. We are still overdubbing and recording, and will be through early Spring. I’m also thrilled that my current single “All of the Boys”, which I co-wrote with my friend and mentor Zac Brown, is charting on country radio.