RAY CARDWELL, “Stand On My Own,” Bonfire. 12 tracks

Ray Cardwell‘s roots are in bluegrass.

His music career began in the Missouri Ozarks in the late 1970s with the Cardwell Family Band.

In the ’80s, Cardwell worked in bluegrass, Americana, country, jazz, reggae, blues, musical theater, rock, Motown, choral and rockabilly groups.

And it shows.

He moved to Nashville in 1994 as a member of the bluegrass/gospel group New Tradition.

Then, Cardwell took time off to raise a family.

In 2016, he returned to Nashville and bluegrass with an album called “Tennessee Moon,” which was released in 2017.

Now, Cardwell’s second album, “Stand On My Own,” has hit the market.

He wrote nine of the 12 tracks.

“Stand On My Own” falls on the progressive side of bluegrass.

With electric guitars and drums among the instruments, the hard-driving sound is at least a cousin of rock.

Probably the most amazing track is “Change In My Life,” which features Cardwell singing four-part harmony with himself.

He sings lead, tenor, baritone and bass to create a great sound.

“Time to Drive” is a hard-driving song about a man hitting the highway in search of whatever his future holds.

The title track says it’s not that he doesn’t love her, but he needs time alone to learn to stand on his own.

“Sinners & Saints” says those who judge him are as guilty as him.

“Jump Bank Jane” is an uptempo instrumental.

“New Set of Problems” finds the singer tired of his old problems, tired of his job, tired of being broke, tired of his girlfriend and tired of his wife.

“Wedding Bells” is about a man listening to wedding bells ring for the woman he had hoped to marry someday.

“Love Each Other” is a song that says we have to learn to love each other.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try https://raycardwell.bandcamp.com/album/stand-on-my-own.

 

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