JUNIOR SISK & RAMBLERS CHOICE, “The Heart of a Song,” Rebel. 13 tracks.
If they ever do a bluegrass version of George Jones’ “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” one of the answers is Harry Sisk Jr. — Junior Sisk to his friends and fans.
Bluegrass musicians don’t come more hard-core traditional than Sisk.
The first song on the new album by Sisk and his band, Ramblers Choice, “A Far Cry From Lester & Earl,” laments the fact that bluegrass music today doesn’t sound the way it used to.
“We’re way down below that high-lonesome sound,” he laments.
If you feel that way, just hang on. There’s a dozen more songs coming and you won’t have ask if they’re bluegrass. Well, a couple are more traditional country than bluegrass, but who’s counting.
Sisk’s version of “String, Eraser and Blotter,” a song the Stanley Brothers recorded in the early 1960s, is faithful to the original sound.
“Another Man’s Arms” is a blazing fast song about a man in prison wondering if his wife is being faithful.
Rhonda Vincent joins Sisk for a duet on “The Sound of Your Name,” a song that should garner some nominations from the awards shows.
“Thankful For Each Day,” a song written by Sisk and his father, is an a capella gospel quartet number.
Jason Tomlin, the band’s mandolin player, sings lead on “There’s No Place Like Home,” a song he co-wrote.
Tim Massey, the bass player, handles the lead singing on “Sea of Regret,” a song recorded by Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs 40 years ago, and on “Tailor Made.”
Dixie and Tom T. Hall’s “The Grave Robber,” an eerie song about a man who robs graves of clothes and jewelry, gets a spare reading with just Sisk and his guitar.
“The Devil’s Old White Well” tells the story of a Bible-reading woman and a moonshine-drinking man whose love ends tragically.
Good album by one of the best traditional bluegrass bands around.
Can’t find it in stores? Try www.CountySales.com.