If you go
What: Mountain Stage
When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Clay Center
Cost: $35 at door
Info www.mountainstage.org or 304-561-3570
FYI:The lineup includes Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin in a special extended duo performance, along with Aoife O'Donovan, Marti Jones & Don Dixon, and Ari Hest
To be honest, Marti Jones would rather be in her studio painting these days than on stage performing.
But her husband, Don Dixon, persuades her to join him a couple of times a year, and Sunday seemed as good a time as any. They'll join the lineup at Mountain Stage's show at the Clay Center, where they'll meet up with friends Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin.
A duet CD they recorded in 2011 helps define their set list, Dixon said, and it's a good thing - at this stage in their respective careers, they have recorded more than 300 songs.
For many years, they did perform together, even as Dixon was busy with production work for groups such as REM and Marshall Crenshaw and writing. Jones said she was never as prolific as her husband.
"I've only ever really done it because I've been urged to," she said. "Melodies tend to run through my head; I'm not that good with words. Sometimes I'll give Dixon a little snippet - he can do all that crap. I like to waltz in when he's done everything and it's time for the vocalist."
Dixon, meantime, has been singing and making up songs since he can remember.
"My earliest memories are truly of singing. My mother tells about a time when she came home and I was a toddler and my sisters were supposed to be babysitting me. I'd gotten out all of the 78 records and laid them on the floor.
"I was the little kid making up songs in the car and trying to convince my sisters they were real songs. I sang in church like all good Southern boys do," he added.
By high school, he was playing bass in an instrumental band that played old standards and booked lots of gigs for the older set at country clubs and such.
"We wore tuxedoes. We were kind of cute," he said. "And we were making significant amounts of money."