JUNIOR SISK & RAMBLERS CHOICE, “The Story Of The Day That I Died,” Rebel. 12 tracks.

Harry Sisk Jr. — Junior Sisk to his fans — is finally getting the attention he has deserved for years.

Last fall, his “Heart of A Song” was named album of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. And his chart-topping single, “A Far Cry From Lester & Earl,” was named song of the year.

Sisk, who made his mark in bluegrass as a songwriter in the early 1990s, ranks with Ralph Stanley and James King among the best mountain soul singers today.

He can wring the lonesome out of any lyric.

Sisk stepped onto the national stage in 1996 as a singer/guitar player with Wyatt Rice & Santa Cruz.

Two years later, he formed the first version of Ramblers Choice and then left after one album to play with Lost & Found for a short period until he joined Alan Bibey in BlueRidge.

In 2008, Sisk brought back Ramblers Choice with the critically acclaimed album “Blue Side of the Blue Ridge.” And his career has been in overdrive ever since.

“The Story Of The Day That I Died” is another outstanding album of hard-core traditional bluegrass with mostly new songs.

The title track is about a man who maxes out his credit cards, sinks his wife’s car and fakes his suicide after she falls in love with another man.

“If The Bottle Was A Bible” tells the story of a man who can’t stop drinking since his wife died.

“High In The Mountains” is a blazing tune about a man whose wife left him with the low-down blues while he was busy making moonshine.

Bass man Jason Tomlin sings lead on “Another Lonely Day,” a song about a man whose life is upside down since his lover left, and Chris Davis, the mandolin player, handles lead duties on “Prayers Go Up,” a song about trying to live an uncomplicated life.

“Jesse James” is a barn-burner of an instrumental.

But other than those three songs, fans get Sisk’s vocals on the rest of the album.

“Lover’s Quarrel” is a song about wasting lives. Two lovers quarrel, split up and never marry anyone. Then, he dies and she puts flowers on his grave every day.

“Good To See The Home Place Again” finds a man going home to Kentucky, remembering his childhood.

“A House Where A Home Used to Be” is about a man still mourning the day his wife left him 21 years earlier.

“Walking In Good Company” is a gospel song written by Sisk and his father, Harry Sisk Sr.

“Drinking At The Water Hole” is a blazing tune about a bar.

“Old Bicycle Chain,” though, is a song the album could have done without.

It’s a hard-driving, good bluegrass tune. But the lyrics say that if the woman ever comes back, he’ll whip her with an old bicycle chain.

Not the best image for bluegrass.

Otherwise, a great album by a man and a band that are quickly become among the best in the business.

It hits stores on March 12.

Can’t find it? Try http://www.CountySales.com.

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2 Comments on “JUNIOR SISK & RAMBLERS CHOICE, “The Story Of The Day That I Died,” Rebel. 12 tracks.”

  1. Patrick Says:

    On Old Bicycle Chain – notice XM is playing it constantly. I think you misread the number. It’s so obviously contrived to be ridiculous it was meant to be “hey, that’s just bluegrass” (to the extreme). So far all the ladies I’ve asked love the song – mostly because they know it wasn’t meant to be “true”. Let’s not take all this so seriously so that we end up with sterile music!

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