DALE ANN BRADLEY, “The Hard Way,” Pinecastle. 10 tracks.

Dale Ann Bradley could sing a phone book — if she could still find one — and make it sound interesting.

She has that kind of voice.

And it has earned her female vocalist of the year honors from the International Bluegrass Music Association five times.

“The Hard Way,” Bradley’s latest release on Pinecastle, takes its title from Jim Croce‘s 1970 rock song, “Hard Way Every Time.”

It’s one of three rock songs turned into bluegrass on the album.

The others are the Grateful Dead‘s “Ripple” from 1973 and Journey‘s “Wheel in the Sky” from 1978.

There’s also a cover of Bobbie Gentry‘s 1967 classic, “Ode to Billie Joe.”

There’s a murder ballad — “Pretty, Dark Hearted Emma Brown” — written by Bradley.

“One Good Wiper Blade” finds the singer leaving a small town in the rain disappointed that her lover won’t leave the other woman in his life.

“The Redbird River” finds an old woman reflecting on her life.

“Boat on the Ocean” compares the man she loves to a boat in a storm, not knowing if he’s headed home or far away.

“The Likes of You” says she seen a lot of beauty in her life, but nothing like him.

“Because He Loved Me” is bluegrass gospel at its best.

It’s an album Bradley fans will want.

It’s available at PinecastleMusic.com and Amazon.com.

 

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