Archive for January 2019

DEANIE RICHARDSON, “Love Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks.

January 28, 2019

Deanie Richardson, who grew up outside Nashville, made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry at age 13.

She and her fiddle have been making country, bluegrass and several other genres of music ever since.

Richardson has been a member of the New Coon Creek Girls and Sister Sadie.

And she’s had her own band.

She’s performed with Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Bob Seger, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr., Del McCoury and a lot more.

And Richardson has toured with the Chieftains.

“Love Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard” includes “Murchadh Tobha churraig dhuibh” (“Murdo Tobha’s Black Cap”), a song from those years, with Alyth McCormack, a Scottish singer, supplying the vocals.

There’s the swing of “Black and White Rag” and the stone country of “Tears Will Be The Chaser for Your Wine,” an old Wanda Jackson song, with Dale Ann Bradley‘s great vocals this time.

Richardson wrote three tunes — “Meadow Dancing,” inspired by her granddaughter, Meadow; “Stoney Mae,” a song about a moonshiner’s daughter, with Ronnie Bowman on vocals; and “Chickens in the House.”

Patty Loveless joins Richardson on the traditional “Jack of Diamonds” and Amanda McKenny and Brandon Bostic lend their vocals to “East Virginia Blues.”

Richardson’s brother, Clyde, clogs to “Lost Indian.”

There’s also a great version of Bill Monroe’s “Kentucky Waltz.”

The album is available at http://www.DeanieRichardson.com.

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CAROLINA BLUE, “I Hear Bluegrass Calling Me,” Pinecastle. 13 tracks

January 21, 2019

Carolina Blue, a North Carolina-based bluegrass band, leaves no doubt that it’s a traditional bluegrass band.

They dress like the pioneers of bluegrass and their sound is something that Bill Monroe would definitely recognize as bluegrass.

The band has been together since 2007 and keeps getting better with age.

Band members Bobby Powell and Tim Jones wrote nine of the 13 tracks on the album.

The title track, written by Roy Chapman, is a hard-driving number that says they’re not knocking country music, but bluegrass is what they love.

“Cold, Lonely and Blue” is about a man still scarred by a bad relationship.

“Longing For Home” tells the story of a man who couldn’t wait to leave home and now, living in the city, he’s longing to be back home.

“Rusty Rails” finds a man riding in a box car to take him and his heartache away.

“Mary Do You Wonder” is about a man remembering the happy early days of his failed marriage — and hoping his ex does too.

“Glory Bound Train” is a lightning fast gospel song.

“Dark Mountainside” is a story of murder and vengeance.

“Mountain Flower” is a love song.

“Bluegrass Melodies,” an Osborne Brothers song from 1974, is nostalgia for home.

“Breaking Up Rocks” is about a man who killed his wife and her lover and now is breaking rocks in a Texas prison

“I’ll Meet Her In Heaven” is about a dead lover.

“Fried Taters and Onions” is a blazing instrumental.

And “Sometimes Good Girls Go Bad” tells the story of a woman who deserts her husband to join her lover on the bad side of town.

Classic bluegrass all the way.

If you can’t find it in stores, try http://www.CarolinaBlueBand.com.

 

JOHN McCUTCHEON, “To Everyone In All The World: A Celebration of Pete Seeger,” Appalseed Records. 15 tracks

January 14, 2019

Pete Seeger wasn’t a bluegrass musician.

He was a folk singer.

But in 2006, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro, Ky., acquired one of his banjos.

“He’s not a bluegrass musician,” Kitsy Kuykendall, who was then secretary of the Hall of Fame’s board of trustees, said after the presentation. “But that’s what sets us apart from other museums. We celebrate not only bluegrass, but its roots and branches as well.”

Seeger’s 100th birthday would have been on May 3 this year.

And folk singer John McCutcheon is celebrating that event with his latest album, a 15-song tribute to Seeger.

It includes such Seeger classics as “If I Had A Hammer, this time as a Cajun dance tune; “Waist Deep In The Big Muddy” and  “Turn, Turn, Turn”

But there are a lot of lesser known songs as well — “Talking Union,” which McCutcheon transforms from a talking blues to a funky rap, and “Well May The World Go,” which becomes a bluegrass tune with help from Hot Rize.

There’s “Die Gedanken Sind Frei,” a German freedom song from World War II; “Sailing Down The Golden River,” a song about the Hudson River; “Mrs. Clara Sullivan’s Letter,” a song about a coal miners’ strike; “The Spider’s Web,” a love song for his wife; and the title track, which wishes everyone in the world could get along.

If you’re a fan of Pete Seeger or John McCutcheon, you’ll want this album.

You can find it at https://www.folkmusic.com/store.html.