PAUL WILLIAMS & THE VICTORY TRIO, “ Just A Little Closer Home,” Rebel. 12 tracks.
Paul Williams is a legend in bluegrass music.
The man who was born Paul Humphrey began his career in 1951 as a member of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, a group that was recently inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame.
In 1957, Williams joined Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys and his distinctive tenor is heard on some of Martin’s best-known recordings.
Then, in 1963, after a conversion experience, he left the bluegrass circuit and went to work for the U.S. Postal Service.
But in 1996, after his retirement, Williams put together the Victory Trio and began making his mark in bluegrass gospel as well as Southern gospel.
“Just A Little Closer Home” is his 10th gospel album for the Rebel label.
Somewhat surprisingly for a songwriter whose songs have been covered by Ray Charles, Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams Jr. among others, the album features only one of Williams’ creations — “He Answered My Plea.”
Dan Moneyhun, the band’s guitarist, sings lead on half the songs and wrote one — “I’ve Been Set Free.”
Susie Keys, the bass player, wrote “There’s Still Time.”
Tom T. & Dixie Hall, two of bluegrass’ busiest songwriters, contributed “Someone Made The Sandals Jesus Wore.”
“Just A Little Closer Home” continues Williams’ string of primarily mid- to uptempo happy sounds of salvation.
It’s another strong effort by a strong group and a legend who will soon celebrate his 60th year in bluegrass.
Can’t find it in stores? Try www.RebelRecords.com.