Archive for March 2017

LAWSON & WILLIAMS, “Chapter 3,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks.

March 27, 2017

 

In 2010, Doyle Lawson, Paul Williams and J.D. Crowe got together to pay tribute to their old boss, Jimmy Martin, with an album of gospel songs from Martin’s repertorie.

They called it, “Old Friends Get Together.”

It was so successful that they returned in 2014 with “Standing Tall and Tough.”

Since then, Crowe has retired, but Lawson and Williams have created “Chapter 3” — their third musical outing together.

It’s a collection of traditional country, bluegrass and bluegrass gospel songs.

There’s the Delmore Brothers’ “I’m Sorry I Caused You To Cry,” the Bailes Brothers‘ “I Want To Be Loved, But Only By You” and the Louvin Brothers‘ “I Feel Better Now.”

Williams wrote “Abigail,” “I’m Getting Over You” and “What Am I  Gonna Do With This Broken Heart.”

From the country side, there’s Dolly Parton‘s “Til Death Do Us Part,” Justin Tubb‘s “Big Fool of the Year” and Buddy Starcher‘s “I’ll Still Write Your Name in the Sand.”

And from the gospel side, there’s “I’ll Make It Through,” “There’s Absolutely Nothing  My God Can’t Do” and “I Feel Better Now.”

These days, it’s sometimes hard to decide if what you’re listening to is really bluegrass.

You won’t have any problem with this album.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try http://mountainhomemusiccompany.com/project/lawson-williams-releases/

 

FLASHBACK, “Foxhounds and Fiddles,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks.

March 20, 2017

In 1995, J.D. Crowe & the New South was nominated for a Grammy for their album, “Flashback.”

Twenty years later, the four members of the New South — Richard Bennett, Curt Chapman, Don Rigsby and Phil Leadbetter — got back together for a reunion show.

And now, taking the name of that album as the name for the band, the four — along with Stuart Wyrick taking Crowe’s banjo post — have released their first album.

This is actually the second band made up of Crowe alumni.

Wildfire was the first in 2002.

Flashback has a traditional sound, as you would expect.

Bennett and Rigsby wrote the title track, an uptempo song about a man returning to the mountains after his wife dies.

And Bennett co-wrote four other tracks — “Two Rivers,” “Camp Forest,” “Georgia Backroads” and “The Hag Song.”

The latter — a tribute to the late Merle Haggard — is one that Haggard fans will want to hear.

In a nod to the roots of bluegrass, the album includes Carter Stanley‘s “You’re Still To Blame” and Charlie and Ira Louvin‘s “Let Us Travel, Travel On.”

Great album by a band that sounds as good as or maybe better than it did 20 years ago.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try https://www.fbband.com/store.

 

THE GARRETT NEWTON BAND, “Young Heart, Old Soul,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks.

March 13, 2017

 

Garrett Newton is one of those child prodigies — like Marty Stuart and Alison Krauss — who pop up in bluegrass from time to time.

He started playing banjo at 6 and was winning contests within two years.

Now, at 17, he has his own band and a new CD on the market.

The title track was written by Mark “Brink”Brinkman and Terry Foust especially for the band.

It’s an uptempo song about a boy who prefers his grandfather’s old truck to a new car and loves to listen to old bluegrass and country songs.

He was born 40 years too late, the song says.

That’s Newton’s story as well.

He’s not a singer, though.

The vocals are handled by Allen Dyer, the rhythm guitar player.

But Newton’s banjo is clearly the lead instrument on the album.

The album kicks off with a rousing version of “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Miss Me (When I’m Gone),” the old George Jones song that’s been covered by many bluegrass artists.

Then, it moves into “Country Poor and Proud,” a ballad about hard times.

There are three instrumentals — “Farewell Blues,” “Bells of St. Mary” and “Remington Ride.”

There’s four-part harmony on the gospel song, “Old Camp Meeting Time.”

And “The Last Hanging  of Wise County” tells the story of a man hanged for a crime he didn’t commit.

Good album by a newcomer who sounds like he’ll be around awhile.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try http://pinecastlemusic.com/product/young-heart-old-soul/

 

SNYDER FAMILY BAND, “The Life We Know,” Mountain Home, 10 tracks

March 6, 2017

The Lexington, North Carolina-based Snyder Family Band is gaining a lot of attention in bluegrass circles these days.

And rightly so.

But it’s a small band.

Bud Snyder, the father, plays bass.

Siblings Samantha and Zeb play fiddle and guitar respectively.

And they come together with a wide range of influences — jazz, blues, Southern rock, Irish, swing, old-time and newgrass.

You’ll find a little bit of all that in their latest album, “The Life We Know.”

It’s more an acoustic musical stew rather than simply bluegrass.

The album kicks off with Lyle Lovette‘s “Cowboy Man” and ends with Samantha Snyder’s “American Prayer.”

She wrote five of the songs on the album.

Brother Zeb wrote the two instrumentals — “Clouds Over Texas” and “Who’s Mallory.”

Samantha’s songs include “Far Away,” “The Rain” and three gospel songs — “The Mystery,” “The King” and “American Prayer.”

The only songs the Snyders didn’t write were Lovette’s “Cowboy Man,” Toy Caldwell‘s “Blue Ridge Mountain Sky” and Jerry Reed‘s “Breakin’ Loose.”

Can’t find it in stores?

Try amazon.com.