Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

REBEKAH LONG, “Run Away,” LUK Records, 12 tracks

December 4, 2017

“Run Away” is only Rebekah Long’s second album on LUK Records.

But the Lincolnton, Georgia, native has been around the bluegrass and gospel circuit for years.

She toured and played upright bass with Little Roy Lewis and Lizzy Long — her twin sister — and also played bass in Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike for a time.

Now, Long is branching out as a solo artist.

She co-wrote nine of the 12 songs on the album with Donna Ulisse.

One she didn’t write is Elton John‘s “Honky Cat,” but Long makes it sound like an original.

The album opens with “Georgia Bound,” a song about heading home to the place where she grew up.

“I’ve Seen The Light,” not to be confused with Hank Williams‘ “I Saw The Light,” is a love song.

“Every Time I Fall Asleep” is about a love that exists only in her dreams.

The title track is about a man who runs away when she tells him she loves him.

“A Place Beyond The Clouds” and “Lay Your Isaac Down” are gospel songs.

The latter is a duet with her late husband, Ben Speer, who died earlier this year.

“My Greatest Shame” is about a woman who has a child out of wedlock and becomes so enraged with the way people in the town treat him that she starts murdering them.

“Fishin’ On The Cumberland” is an uptempo song about the joys of nature and fishing.

“The Swimming Song” is similar, but it’s about swimming.

“Welcome Me Back Home” is about a woman going back home to the man she loves and wishing she’d never left.

“Woodland Street” is about an elderly man, who apparently suffers from dementia, and his wife who go walking every night as she remembers better days.

A good album.

Can’t find it in stores? Try Amazon and other music sites.

 

Advertisements

WILSON BANJO CO., “Spirits in the Hills,” Bonfire. 14 tracks

November 27, 2017

 

Steve Wilson, banjo player and banjo builder, waited until his kids were grown to hit the bluegrass circuit with his own band.

Now, he’s making up for lost time.

“Spirits in the Hills” is the band’s first album, but it won’t be the last.

The title track is a spooky tale of a man with a hook for a hand who gives the singer a drink of moonshine and owns his soul.

“Shiner’s Mountain” is also about moonshiners in the hills and how you don’t want to be mistaken for a revenue agent.

“Forty Years of Trouble” is a hard-driving tale of a man who’s spent long years in prison and is longing to meet the son he’s never seen.

There are a couple of country songs — “Catfish John,” a 1972 hit for Johnny Russell, and “Carolina in the Pines,” a song Michael Martin Murphey released in both 1975 and 1985.

“Her Sunday Best” is about a woman whose Sunday best doesn’t mean her clothes. It means the way she’s lived her life.

“Railroad Man” tells the story of a man whose love life is going through a train wreck.

And there are a couple of gospel songs — “When He Reached Down His Hand” and “Ain’t No Grave.”

Band members include Sarah Logan, the fiddle player who sings lead on five tracks; Joey Newton, who plays guitar, banjo and fiddle and sings lead on two tracks; Dylan Armour, the Dobro player who sings lead on one track; Brandon Couch, who plays mandolin and sings lead on four tracks; and Rob Walker on bass.

Can’t find it in stores? Try https://www.wilsonbanjo.com/store.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

BRAD HUDSON, “Next New Heartache,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks

November 20, 2017

 

Brad Hudson was one of those child prodigies in bluegrass, picking and singing from a young age.

He’s worked at Dollywood — Dolly Parton‘s theme park — and in the bands of Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road and Jeff & Sheri Easter.

Now, he’s the lead singer and Dobro player in the band Sideline.

And Hudson has recorded his first solo album for Pinecastle — “Next New Heartbreak.”

It kicks off with “Ramblers Song,”  a hard-driving song about a man who proclaims that he’ll never settle down and likes to move from town to town.

Dolly Parton joins Hudson on her “Appalachian Memories,” a song about Southern people going north in search of the Promised Land — but never finding it.

“I Wonder What You See In Your Dreams” has a similar theme — a man watching the woman he loves go to the city to marry someone else.

The title track finds the singer hurting and waiting to be hurt again.

“Truckers Blues” finds a truck driver missing his wife and waiting for a chance to stop to eat and call her.

“Smoky Mountain Strong” is a tribute to the area devastated by a forest fire in 2016.

“The Day My Daddy Cried” is a song about a man who never cried — until the day his wife died.

Loretta Lynn’s “World of Forgotten People” is a ballad about people who are lonely and hurting.

Jeff & Sheri Easter and Hudson’s grandmother, Betty Swinson, join him on the gospel song, “Beulah Land.”

And there are a couple of instrumentals — “Hugging The Hound” and “My One And Only (Crystal’s Song),” the latter written by Hudson for his wife.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.bradhudsonmusic.com/store.

REMINGTON RYDE, “A Storyteller’s Memory,” Pinecastle. 11 tracks.

November 13, 2017

 

James King was known as “The Bluegrass Storyteller” and the “King of Mountain Soul.”

But his voice was silenced on May 19, 2016, when he died way too young at 57.

Remington Ryde, a 12-year-old Pennsylvania-based bluegrass band, remembers King with its first release on Pinecastle Records, “A Storyteller’s Memory.”

The album features nine songs from King’s repertoire; a tribute song, “Mr. King,” written by the band’s founder, Ryan Frankhouser; and a 1989 track of King singing, “It’s A Cold, Cold World,” a song he wrote.

“Bed By The Window,” one of King’s better known songs, is a story song about two old men in a nursing home and the difference between optimism and pessimism.

“Days of Gray  & Black” is a hard-charging song about winter coming and a man missing a woman.

“Crazy Heart” is an uptempo song about a woman changing like the weather and driving a man insane.

Chris Stapleton’s “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore” is about a man who prayed constantly — until the day he died.

“Thirty Years of Farmin'” finds a family farm being foreclosed on with an auction coming soon.

“Leavin'” is another hard-charging song about a man who’s been put down by his woman and has decided to hit the road.

Hazel Dickens‘ “A Few Old Memories” is a ballad about memories of an old love that creep into his mind from time to time.

“Old Swinging Bridge” is an uptempo song about memories of an old love and things they used to do.

If you’re a James King fan, you’ll want to hear this.

Can’t find it in stores? Try http://www.RemingtonRyde.com

BALSAM RANGE, “It’s Christmas Time,” Mountain Home. Six tracks

November 6, 2017

There’s no doubt that “It’s Christmas Time” is a Christmas EP — six songs rather than a dozen.

But is it bluegrass?

That’s something the purists and the progressives can debate this holiday season.

Violins, violas, saxophones and cellos are not normally heard on bluegrass albums.

And the Nashville Recording Orchestra doesn’t usually perform on bluegrass CDs.

But if you’re broadminded about your bluegrass, this is a Christmas album you might want to consider.

It opens with Doc Watson‘s “Christmas Lullaby” and closes with an instrumental version of “Jingle Bells.”

“The First Noel,” a Christmas classic that dates back to at least 1823, features the band’s classic three-part harmony.

“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” a 1958 megahit by Brenda Lee, features a saxophone in a nod to the late Boots Randolph.

The Stanley Brothers‘ “I’m Going Home, It’s Christmas Time” is the EP’s only song done in traditional bluegrass style.

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” which dates back to at least 1739, does include a banjo and mandolin.

The North Carolina-based band is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017.

Can’t find the album in stores? Try https://balsamrange.com/store/

 

DANIEL CRABTREE, “In The Shadow of His Wings,” no label. 13 tracks

October 23, 2017

 

“In The Shadow of His Wings,” Daniel Crabtree‘s second bluegrass gospel album, is a singer-songwriter showcase.

Crabtree wrote all 13 songs on the album.

He says on his website that he’s had a passion for bluegrass gospel since he was a kid.

And he’s performed it in recent years with The Lights Chapel Boys.

A few years ago, Crabtree says he discovered that he could write songs and he’s been doing it daily ever since.

The title track is about Biblical heroes who God sheltered from harm. And now, the singer is asking for the same shelter.

“Land of Milk and Honey” says we’ve been taught to love each other and we need to do it.

“Lord, I’m Gonna Need Your Strength Today” finds a man on his way to a friend’s funeral, asking God for the strength to get through the day.

“I’m On My Way To Gloryland” and “The Gospel Train” are uptempo songs about getting ready for heaven.

“Where Jesus Is” finds the singer realizing that he’s lost his way and deciding that he wants to get to heaven.

An all-star lineup of musicians backs Crabtree on the album — including Scott Vestal, Mike Bub, Rob Ickes, Cody Kilby and Patrick McAvinue

Can’t find it in stores? Try http://www.DanielCrabtreeMusic.com

 

GINA CLOWES, “True Colors,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks

October 16, 2017

Gina Clowes picked up a banjo for the first time when she was 11.

A year later, she was taking lessons from acclaimed bluegrass banjo player Murphy Henry.

By her late teens, Clowes was playing professionally with such bands as Blue Light Special, New Girls Night Out, Nash Street and On The Run.

After time out to start a family, she’s been playing banjo with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers for almost two years.

“True Colors” is a collection of 11 songs she wrote plus Nina Simone‘s “Beautiful Land.”

The title track is a bouncy love song, a tribute to her husband.

“Puppet Show” is about a woman in a controlling relationship who cuts her strings and leaves.

“Saylor’s Creek” is an instrumental that was inspired by a Civil War battle.

“Looking For Sunshine,” with vocals by her sister, Malia Furtado, finds a woman looking for a friend to help her heart mend.

“For Better or Worse,” with vocals by Heather Berry Mabe, is about a woman who sticks by her abusive husband because she promised to stay with him for better or worse. Then, he dies and she finds happiness.

Scott Bannon sings lead on “Good Old Fashioned Heartbreak,” a song about, well, heartbreak.

“I’ll Stay Home” finds a woman telling her musician lover to go back on the road and she’ll wait for him at home.

“Goodbye, Lianne” is a fiddle tune; “Wayward Kite” is classical; and “La Puerta del Diablo” — “The Devil’s Door” — is a gypsy jazz style.

Good album.

Can’t find it in stores? Try http://mountainhomemusiccompany.com/project/gina-clowes-releases/