Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

DALE ANN BRADLEY, “Dale Ann Bradley,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks

August 21, 2017

There is no better singer in bluegrass today — male or female — than Dale Ann Bradley.

The eastern Kentucky native has already won five best female singer trophies from the International Bluegrass Music Association.

And she’ll likely win that many or more in the future.

Her voice is as pure as a mountain stream.

Bradley hit the bluegrass circuit in 1991 as a member of the New Coon Creek Girls.

And she’s still going strong 26 years later.

Her new self-titled album is one of the year’s best.

“Southern Memories,” the first single, is about a woman who left home at 17, riding a coal car on train, and is now finding that her memories are calling her home.

“Champagne Lady” is a story song about a Louisiana girl whose father left her nothing but a pair of crooked dice.

There’s a pair of gospel songs — “One More River” and the a capella “Stand By Me.”

Vince Gill joins Bradley for a duet on “I’ll Just Go Away,” an old Stanley Brothers song.

“Going Back To Kentucky” celebrates her Kentucky roots.

“If You Were Mine To Lose” finds the singer wishing a male friend would see her as a lover.

“Blackberry Summer” is filled with nostalgia for childhood.

“This Is My Year For Mexico” is a bluegrass version of the 1975 country hit for Crystal Gayle.

“Now and Then (Dreams Do Come True)” finds a woman following her father’s footsteps as a musician.

Great album by a great singer.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try https://www.daleann.com/store

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DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER, “Life Is A Story,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks

August 14, 2017

Doyle Lawson has been a professional bluegrass musician for 54 years, since he joined Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys in February 1963.

He’s fronted his own band, Quicksilver, for 38 years.

And he’s closing in on 40 albums to date.

The new album, “Life Is A Story, like much of Lawson and Quicksilver’s work, rides the range between traditional country and traditional bluegrass — back to the days before the labels became so rigid.

There’s “Love Lives Again,” a 1973 hit for George Jones, and “Little Girl,” a hit for John Michael Montgomery in 2000.

And to broaden the mix even more, there”s “What Am I Living For,” a 1958 R&B hit for Chuck “King of the Stroll” Willis.

“Kids These Days” is filled with nostalgia for more innocent times.

But the things it describes as 20 years ago were really more like 50 years ago.

Time, however, does fly.

“Guitar Case” is a good ballad about a man who packs his guitar case with clothes and sneaks away from the woman he no longer loves. But he finds a note inside it that says she understands.

And he starts his journey back home.

“Cry Across Kansas” find a man regretting the way he treated a woman after she kicks him out.

Lawson co-wrote “I See A Heartbreak Comin’ ” and bandmates Joe Dean, Eli Johnson and Dustin Pyrtle wrote, “Life of a Hard Workin’ Man.”

Another strong album by an act that’s been making them for nearly four decades.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try http://doylelawson.com/buy-doyle-lawson/ starting Aug. 25.

THE GRASCALS, “Before Breakfast,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks

August 7, 2017

 

Twelve years after The Grascals released their first (self-titled) album, the band is still turning out fantastic music.

The latest album, “Before Breakfast,” hits record bins on Sept. 1.

And it ranks among the band’s best.

The album leads off with “Sleepin’ With The Reaper,” a song about a woman who tells her husband on their wedding day that death is the only way they’ll part. So, you know somebody’s gonna die.

Bill Anderson and Jon Randall’s “Demons,” says that once you’ve met the Devil, he’ll never leave you alone.

“Delia” sounds like a dance tune that came from a holler in the depths of Appalachia centuries ago, But it’s modern.

“I’m Been Redeemed” and Flatt & Scruggs’ “He Took Your Place” are great gospel songs.

“Lonesome” is a song about, well, being lonesome.

“Beer Tree” and “Clear Corn Liquor” are fun songs about drinking.

Webb Pierce’s “Pathway of Teardrops,” a 1960 hit, features some great harmony.

Good album by one of bluegrass’ best bands.

Can’t find it in stores? Try http://grascals.com/store/ around Sept. 1.

BILLY DROZE, “To Whom It May Concern,” Rural Rhythm. 12 tracks

July 31, 2017

 

In 1962, Bob Droze, a country, gospel and bluegrass artist, released an album on the Rural Rhythm label.

Now, 55 years later, his son Billy has done the same.

Billy Droze, a songwriter who has written hits for The Grascals, Flatt Lonesome, Junior Sisk and others, co-wrote all 12 songs on “To Whom It May Concern.”

But the former lead singer for Shenandoah, who used the name Billy Ryan at the time, is trying to make his mark as a singer these days.

The first single off the album, “Kentucky Blue,” went to No. 1 on the Bluegrass Today charts.

And “Better With Time,” the second single, is at No. 10 this week.

Marty Raybon, another former Shenandoah lead singer, joins Droze on “Chill in the Room,” a song about a love affair that’s about to end.

“Go Back There Again” is a song about longing to visit places of the past that no longer exist.

“Home in Hell” says that the devil is the only one who belongs in hell and don’t let him drag you down.

“Haunted By The Wind” tells of an old man buried in a shallow grave and how his spirit is leading the singer somewhere.

“My Father’s Son” is a gospel song.

“Rain Won’t Quit” is about hard times.

The title track is a string of platitudes that the singer has learned are true.

And “Sounds Like Pretty Music” is about the sounds that are music to him — a baby’s cry, a farmer praying for rain and hearing the thunder roll and a preacher in a country church.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try Amazon or other popular music sites.

KIM ROBINS, “Raining in Baltimore,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks

July 10, 2017

If you haven’t discovered Kim Robins yet, this is your chance.

“Raining in Baltimore” is the follow-up to her recent “40 Years Late” album

That title refers to the musical career she put on hold when she became a mother at 19.

Before that, the Bloomington, Indiana, native was an opening act for Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell and The Oak Ridge Boys as a teenager.

But that was then and this is now.

And Robins, now a grandmother of two, is back with an all-star studio band — Ron Stewart, Rickey Wasson, Adam Steffey and Harold Nixon.

“Raining in Baltimore” is her first major label release.

And, boy, does she sound good.

“Eye For An Eye,” the opening track, is an uptempo tale of vengeance with a man out to kill the man who killed his son.

Robins wrote three tracks — the title cut about a country girl in a big city hoping to get a call from the one she loves; “She’s Just Like You,” which warns her ex that his new love is just like him and she’ll be as unfaithful as he was; and “Bitter Game,” about a woman who keeps lying to herself when she says she’s over him.

There’s a good bluegrass cover of “My Baby Thinks He’s A Train,” the 1981 Rosanne Cash country hit.

And Robins shines on Dolly Parton‘s “Sacred Memories.”

There’s not a bad track on the album.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try KimRobins.com, starting July 21.

 

THE FARM HANDS, “Colors,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks

July 3, 2017

The Farm Hands have been traveling the bluegrass circuit for seven years now.

And they’re starting to get the kind of attention they deserve.

Tim Graves, Daryl Mosley, Keith Tew and Don Hill have all had success on their own and it’s translating into success for the group.

“Colors,” the new album on the Pinecastle label, features a good collection of traditional bluegrass and bluegrass gospel songs from a band with three lead singers.

The title track is a patriotic song about the colors of the military as well as the red, white and blue of the flag.

“Rural Route” and “His Old Fiddle” are both filled with nostalgia for the country life.

There’s a good bluegrass version of Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons‘ “Sin City,” originally recorded 41 years ago by the Flying Burrito Brothers.

And they turn “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like My Daddy Anymore,” the old Loretta Lynn country classic, into a good bluegrass song.

Tew’s “The Old 109” is a ballad about a train wreck on a cold winter night.

There’s a bluegrass version of Bob Dylan‘s “Nashville Skyline Rag.”

The album also features a collection of good bluegrass gospel — “The Four of Us,” “The Bible In The Drawer,” “Crying for Crumbs,” “I’m Going Home” and “Anywhere Is Home.”

Can’t find it in stores?

Look for it at http://www.farmhandsquartet.com/store.html

 

 

EDDY RAVEN with CAROLINA ROAD, “All Grassed Up,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks

June 26, 2017

Edward Futch, better known to country music fans as Eddy Raven, cut his first record in 1962.

He went on to rack up more than 35 hits on the country charts between 1974 and 1990.

Now, at 72, Raven is trying his hand at bluegrass with “All Grassed Up,” an album with Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road.

The songs are, for the most part, classic Eddy Raven country with a bluegrass beat.

There’s “Thank God For Kids,” the song he wrote for the Oak Ridge Boys.

And there are the Raven hits of yesteryear — “Bayou Boys,” “I Should Have Called,” “I Got Mexico,” “Who Do You Know In California,” “Operator Operator,” “Island” and “Sooner or Later.”

There’s also a Raven song, “Good Morning Country Rain,” that’s been recorded by several bluegrass artists.

There’s a bluegrass chestnut, “Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”

The title cut is a new song written by Raven and David Stewart.

Stewart also wrote the song, “Too Wet To Plow.”

Jordan and Carolina Road give the album the bluegrass licks it needs.

If you’re an Eddy Raven fan, you’ll want this album.

If you’re not familiar with his work, check it out.

Look for it July 21 on EddyRaven.com