Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

JIM AND LYNNA WOOLSEY, “Long Ago,” Bonfire. 10 tracks

April 15, 2019

Jim and Lynna Woolsey, Indiana singer-songwriters, have been making music together for four decades, dating back to their time in the 1970s with the Indiana-based Patoka Valley Boys.

Their new album, “Long Ago,” on the Bonfire label features two songs they wrote together — “Growing Up Takes Time,” which says there’s freedom in leaving behind childish ways, and “Without You,” a gospel song.

James Woolsey wrote or co-wrote with others the other eight tracks.

“Somewhere Between Californ and Caroline” tells the story of a rambler, who says when he dies you can bury him anywhere because he’s been everywhere.

The title track is nostalgia for childhood.

“Sugar Ridge Road” finds a man driving fast down a road filled with potholes so he can keep a date and sow some wild oats.

“Long Journey Home” is about what a man hopes to do before his time on Earth is over.

“Livin’ The Way It Used To Be” finds a woman wishing her life and love was the way it was in the past.

Musicians include Randy Kohrs, Mark Fain, Tim Crouch, Mike Sumner, Dave Foster, Clay Hees and Mike Curtis.

Can’t find it in stores?



NIGHTFLYER, “Flight,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks

April 9, 2019

Nightflyer, a southwestern Ohio-based band, has roots in traditional and gospel bluegrass.

And the roots show on the band’s new album, “Flight,” on the Pinecastle label.

“Satan’s Jewel Crown,” part of both the traditional and gospel bluegrass genres, was popularized by the Louvin Brothers in 1959 and again by Emmylou Harris in 1975.

Several of the songs, like “Satan’s Jewel Crown,” have their roots in country music.

That includes Hank Williams “A House of Gold” from the late 1940s; “Six Days on the Road,” a 1963 hit for Dave Dudley; “Guitar Man,” a 1967 hit for Jerry Reed; and “Send My Body Home on a Freight Train,” a 1986 song by Randy Travis.

“Ride” is an uptempo song about a couple who used to take rides in the country before life got so complicated. And the singer wishes they would do it again.

“Be Leaving” is about a man who has caught his woman cheating on him and is ready to leave.

“Lightning Rod” is the story of a man who falls for the wrong woman every time.

“Only God Knows My Name” is about a Confederate soldier who is killed at the end of the Civil War and now finds himself lying in an unmarked grave.

“Not Even Dying Can Stop Me Now” is uptempo gospel.

“The Old Rounder” is the story of a dying man, who is reassessing his life.

And “River Don’t Run Dry” finds a trucker heading home and planning to stay there.

Nightflyer is a five-piece band with five musicians who can all sing lead.

Good album.

Can’t find it in stores.


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

April 1, 2019

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 and


TIM O’BRIEN BAND, “Tim O’Brien Band,” Howdy Skies, 13 tracks

February 4, 2019

West Virginia native Tim O’Brien began his musical journey 41 years ago with the Colorado-based Hot Rize bluegrass band.

Through the years, he’s journeyed down a lot of musical highways and backroads.

But with his latest album, “Tim O’Brien Band,” set for release on March 15, O’Brien is back firmly in bluegrass — with a little folk and old-time music on the side.

Band members include Mike Bub (bass), Shad Cobb (fiddle), Jan Fabricius (vocals/mandolin) and Patrick Sauber (banjo/guitar).

Bryan Sutton, O’Brien’s Hot Rize bandmate, adds his guitar to two songs on the album.

O’Brien wrote “The Other Woman” with Fabricius, his partner, who sings lead on the track.

He wrote “Beyond,” a song about what’s beyond this life, with Shawn Camp and “Amazing Love” with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.

And O’Brien wrote  “Crooked Road,” on his own as well as “La Gringa Renee,” an instrumental ode to Fabricius, whose middle name is Renee.

Other songs include Woody Guthrie‘s “Pastures of Plenty,” a song about the travails of migrant workers; “Diggin’ My Potatoes,” once a blues number by Big Bill BroonzyJ. D. Hutchison‘s “Drunkard’s Walk”; Norman Blake‘s “Last Train From Poor Valley”; Dirk Powell’s “My Love Lies In the Ground”; Hal Cannon‘s “Wind”; the cowboy ballad “Doney Gal”; and “Hop Down Reel/Johnny Doherty’s Reel,” from Irish fiddlers Kevin Burke and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

To pre-order, go to

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

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


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