JOSH WILLIAMS, “Down Home,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks.

Back in 1993, Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick put together a band he called the Bluegrass Youth All-Stars to perform at the International Bluegrass Music Association awards show at the  RiverPark Center in Owensboro, Ky.

The band — which would make a great supergroup today — consisted of Michael Cleveland on fiddle, Josh Williams on banjo,  Chris Thile on mandolin, Cody Kilby on guitar and Brady Stogdill on bass.

Williams went on to work in the Special Consensus and Rhonda Vincent’s band, The Rage.

Now, he’s on his own with his first solo album since “Lonesome Highway,” which made several “best of” lists back in 2004.

Williams moved from banjo to guitar several years back. And the IBMA has named him guitar player of the year for the past two years.

His tenor/baritone vocals rank him among the top male singers in the genre as well. He really shines on lonesome ballads.

“Kodak 1955” finds the singer sorting through a box of family photos. The title cut tells the story of two generations of a family battling hard times on the farm and the new generation struggling for a better life off the farm.

Jimmy Martin’s “The Last Song” and Murray F. Cannon’s “Dream of Me” are songs about the lives of traveling musicians.

Guests include Williams’ old bosses — Greg Cahill and Vincent — Darrin Vincent, Jamie Dailey, Tony Rice, Randy Kohrs , Stuart Duncan, Aaron McDaris, Kenny Ingram, Tina Adair, Mickey Harris, Jason Carter, Greg Blaylock and Carl Jackson.

“Down Home” is a strong sophomore effort by a rising star in bluegrass.

Look for it in stores Feb. 23. If you can’t find it there, try www.joshwilliamsmusic.com.

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