Archive for July 2018

SISTER SADIE, “Sister Sadie II” Pinecastle. 12 tracks

July 30, 2018

Sister Sadie is the best bluegrass supergroup to come down the pike in ages.

Dale Ann Bradley, Tina Adair, Gena Britt, Deanie Richardson and Beth Lawrence have come together to create an amazing sound.

They began performing together in 2016 and released their first album that year.

It drew raves from fans across the country.

This year, they’re nominated for emerging artist of the year honors by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

And the band will release “Sister Sadie II” on Aug. 24.

It’s available for pre-release purchase now at

Adair wrote or co-wrote two tracks — “Losing You Blues,” the first single, and “Jay Hugh,” a song about a woman who was widowed at 42 when her husband died in a jail fire and left her with 12 kids.

Britt wrote, “Raleigh’s Ride,” an uptempo instrumental.

There’s a strong uptempo gospel number — “Since I’ve Laid My Burden Down.”

Tom T. Hall‘s “I Washed My Face in the Morning Dew,” a song about people’s indifference to others’ suffering, was written in 1967. But it’s as applicable today as it was then.

Woody Gurthrie’s “900 Miles” is about a person down on their luck trying to jump a freight train to get home.

“No Smoky Mountains” is a love song that finds a woman telling her lover that she won’t let hard times come between them until there’s no bluegrass in Kentucky and no Smoky Mountains.

“Something To Lose” finds the singer wondering if the man she wants wouldn’t like to finally have someone in his life that he’d be afraid to lose.

In “I’m Not A Candle in the Wind,” the singer says she’s a warm fire burning, not a candle that might blow out.

“It’s You Again,” a 1989 hit for Skip Ewing, is about a woman who finds that the man she loves is always on her mind.

Dan Fogelberg‘s “Morning Sky” is a hard-charging song about a woman getting ready to leave and telling her man that if he has anything to say to her, he’d better hurry.

Great sound by a great band.


LARRY CORDLE, “Tales From East Kentucky,” MightyCord Records, 11 tracks

July 23, 2018

Larry Cordle is an accomplished songwriter in both bluegrass and country music.

In 1999, he and Larry Shell wrote “Murder on Music Row,” an indictment of modern country music, that became the Country Music Association’s song of the year for Alan Jackson and George Strait.

And his “Highway 40 Blues” was a major hit for Ricky Skaggs.

Cordle’s songs have been recorded by a who’s who of bluegrass and country artists.

But “Tales From East Kentucky” gives him a chance to tell his stories in his own voice.

And while the songs may have been written about events in eastern Kentucky, they’re universal and could be set in any rural area.

“Yardbird” is an uptempo number about chickens.

“Where The Mountain Lilies Grow” is a ballad, telling the story of a Virginia woman, married with children, who stole a man’s heart before she died.

“Bluegrass Junction” is an uptempo song about a bluegrass channel on Sirius XM radio.

“Lawrence County Seat” finds an old man thinking back about all the things he’s seen and heard in church.

“Old Men” is a ballad about men who still feel young inside even as their bodies age.

“We Blame The Devil” says we may blame the devil, but the wrong we do is really our own fault.

“A Large Detroit American Automobile” is nostalgia for cars of the past and a rant against hybrids and electrics.

“Scared The Hell Out of Me” tells the story of a boy listening to a hell-fire sermon and a man seeing a murder-suicide.

“Back When” is pure nostalgia.

“Anything Worth Doing” is a ballad about a lesson in life.

And “Bandit is an uptempo song about a raccoon.

A host of guest musicians and vocalists join Cordle on the album.

Good album.

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Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum opening in October

July 16, 2018

OWENSBORO, Ky — A free “Downtown ROMP” bluegrass festival with four acts on the outdoor stage of the new Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum on Oct. 20 will cap three days of opening festivities at the $15.3 million facility at Second and Frederica streets.

The celebration caps a 33-year effort by Owensboro to create a major attraction from bluegrass music.

“Dreams do come true — if you dream long enough,” Terry Woodward, chairman of the museum board, said Thursday.

Woodward was chairman of the old Owensboro-Daviess County Tourist Commission when that board began the effort to make Owensboro a home for bluegrass music in 1985.

“We’ve had a lot of help,” he said. “A lot of people from Owensboro and across the country have worked on this.”

Yonder Mountain String Band, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, will headline the one-day festival.

The Colorado-based band is known for progressive bluegrass, country and jam band music.

Other acts include High Fidelity, a traditional bluegrass band formed in 2014; Front Country, a folk, pop and progressive bluegrass band, which formed in San Francisco in 2011; and Town Mountain, a 13-year-old North Carolina band, whose sound has been described as “a bridge between traditional bluegrass, outlaw country and old-time, with sounds reminiscent of Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, J.D. Crowe and Tony Rice.”

The festival will be in the new grassy field on the north side of the museum near Smothers Park.

Museum officials say it will seat about 1,500 people.

But there’s room in Smothers Park across the street for several thousand more.

The celebration kicks off on Oct. 18 with Legends Night in the state-of-the-art Woodward Theatre.

It’s a private event with the International Bluegrass Music Association inducting five new members of its Hall of Fame posthumously.

The inductees will be Vassar Clements, Mike Seeger, Jake Tullock, Allen Shelton and Joe Val.

Several current members of the Hall of Fame are expected to perform along with other artists paying tribute to Hall of Fame members, which includes Bill Monroe, “the father of bluegrass music.”

Sam Bush, “the father of newgrass music,” will perform the first public concert in the new theater on Oct. 19.

But that event has already sold out the 447-seat theater.

“I was shocked that it sold out so fast,” Woodward said.

The museum exhibits will open on Oct. 20 — the first day the public can tour the facility.

Woodward said the free Downtown ROMP is designed to thank the people of Owensboro for their support through the years.

But he expects a lot of people from across the country — especially fans of Yonder Mountain String Band, who are known as “kinfolk” — to be in town that weekend.

Woodward said all the present and former trustees of the museum as well as past and present members of the IBMA board have been invited to Legends Night.

“I’m pretty happy with how the project has turned out,” he said. “But we’re just getting started.”


LOVE CANON, “Cover Story,” Organic Records. Nine tracks.

July 9, 2018

Love Canon is an eight-year-old acoustic band with bluegrass shadings.

“Cover Story,” the band’s fourth album, covers with acoustic instruments nine “electronic-tinged pop hits of the ’80s and ’90s.”

There’s Billy Joel‘s “Prelude (Angry Young Man),” Howard Jones‘ “Things Can Only Get Better,” Mr. Mister‘s “Kyrie Eleison,” Paul Simon‘s “Graceland,” Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ “Islands in the Stream,” Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy The Silence,” Peter Gabriel‘s “Solsbury Hill/Icecaps of Pentatonia,” Chris Difford‘s “Tempted” and R.E.M.‘s “Driver 8.”

Band members include Jesse Harper on guitar and lead vocals, Adam Larrabee on banjo, Andy Thacker on mandolin, Darrell Muller on bass and Jay Starling on resonator guitar.

Alex Hargreaves adds his fiddle to the mix.

Guests include Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, Keller Williams, Michael Cleveland and Eric Krasno.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS, “Songs From Lyon County,” Gracey Holler Music. Nine tracks

July 2, 2018


Dennis Duff, a native of Lyon County, Kentucky, wrote all nine of these songs.

He’s joined on vocals by Paul Brewster, Josh Shilling, Bradley Walker and Darin and Brooke Aldridge.

Lyon County, Kentucky, is down where the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers create Kentucky and Barkley lakes.

“Wilson Holler” is a moonshine song about an area that supplied ‘shine to Al Capone back in the 1920s.

“Hey Mr. TVA” tells the story of damming the rivers to create the lakes and supply hydroelectric power to the Tennessee Valley — and the impact it had on the families who lost their homes.

“Road To Dover” is nostalgia for a road that ran through western Kentucky to Dover, Tennessee.

“Night Riders” tells the story of vigilantes who enforced their own brand of justice in days gone by.

“TC & Pearl” is a love story that begins at a revival meeting.

“Castle on the Cumberland” finds a man serving a life sentence at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville.

“Iron Hill” tells the story of a bunch of hobos waiting to hitch a ride of a train as he slows for the steep grade ahead.

“’37 Flood” is about the worst flooding in the recorded history of the Ohio Valley in 1937.

And “When I Leave Kentucky” tells about a man who says he won’t leave his home until he’s dead.

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