Singer-songwriter Liz Jones crawls out of the woodwork and into the limelight this month just long enough to put on a few Christmas shows.
The Ashland-based vocalist and guitarist returns to the town's music scene after taking time off to get her master's degree in business management from Southern Oregon University and to be a mom to her 11-year-old twin sons.
With a kind nudge from local musician Jef Ramsey, Jones realized it was time to get back out there.
"I love Christmas music," Jones says. "I got enthusiastic and decided to brush up on some of my Christmas songs and then I thought, 'What the heck.' "
Jones will present an earthy mix of contemporary and traditional folk tunes, along with a healthy dose of Christmas classics at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at The Playwright Public House, 258 A St.; at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at Liquid Assets, 96 N. Main St.; and at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at Grilla Bites, 47 N. Main St. Kites and Crows' mandolinist Mysha Caruso will perform with Jones at The Playwright, and upright bassist Steve Fain and Ramsey will perform with her at Liquid Assets.
Jones plays straightforward, flat-pick rhythm guitar and mandolin and sings lead vocals with a "clear, comfortable" voice that betrays her Southern roots.
"It's a hobby, but I take it seriously," she says.
For her shows, she'll also throw in a few originals, including "Oh, Sonia," a song about a woman living in the 1800s, "Com'on Down the Road," a shout-out to her husband who travels a lot, and "No Lovin's Worth Losin," a song about a friend whose husband dumped her, leaving her burned but not broken.
Covers by Alison Kraus, The Waifs, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt also are on the program.
In 2008, Jones founded the trio Dandelion Jo, playing Americana and folk with a bent toward bluegrass. She also jams with an all-female folk band and the Jones Family Trio, a project with her boys Adam (electric guitar) and Curtis (drums).
"They let mom sing, but they have a heavy influence over what we play," Jones says. "They aren't into the folksy stuff like I am ... So we compromised on classic rock."
There is no cover to any of Jones' Christmas shows.