Posted tagged ‘j.d. crowe’

CROWE, LAWSON & WILLIAMS, “Standing Tall And Tough,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks.

August 11, 2014

There’s something comforting in the title of the new album by bluegrass legends J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams that’s comforting.

Williams is 79, Crowe is about to turn 77 and Lawson is 70.

In most musical genres, they’d have been retired decades ago.

But in bluegrass, they’re, well, still standing tall and tough.

The three graduates of the Jimmy Martin school of music — all were members of his Sunny Mountain Boys at one time or another — released “Old Friends Get Together,” a collection of gospel tunes, in 2010.

And now, they’re back with an album of secular songs — with a couple of gospel numbers thrown in.

The harmonies are still chilling.

In an era when most acoustic albums seem to be bluegrassish, this one is pure no-mistake-about-it bluegrass.

Crowe was with Martin’s band from 1956 to 1960; Williams from 1958 to 1963; and Lawson from 1963 to 1966.

And the Martin influence runs deep in this album with three songs co-written by Martin and Williams — “My Walking Shoes,” “Little Angel in Heaven” and “Pretending I Don’t Care.”

Williams also wrote or co-wrote “Blue Memories” and the title track.

He also performs his classic version of “Hills of Roane County,” an 1884 murder ballad.

There are a couple of Louvin Brothers gospel songs — “Do You Live What You Preach” and “Insured Beyond The Grave.”

And a couple of old country songs — “Once A Day,” a No. 1 hit for Connie Smith in 1964 and “Fraulein,” a No. 1 song for Bobby Helms in 1957.

Great album by three bluegrass legends.

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AMERICAN DRIVE, “American Drive,” Rural Rhythm. 12 tracks.

December 3, 2012

American Drive may be a new name on the bluegrass scene, but its members aren’t.

When legendary banjo master J.D. Crowe decided to retire from the road, his band, The New South, decided to stick together and become American Drive.

Rickey Wasson, Dwight McCall, Matt DeSpain and Kyle Perkins are carrying on the tradition. Justin Jenkins fills the banjo slot on this album, but he’s since been replaced by Josh Hymer in the band.

The first single, “Long Haul Trucking Man,” an uptempo ode to a man addicted to the road, was written by McCall.

“Willow Creek Dam” tells the story of a dam that will soon flood the singer’s home.

“War Is Hell” tells the story of a man who can’t shake the memories of war. They’ve cost him his wife and kids, but not his whiskey.

“Too Late To Settle Down” finds a man wondering if the woman he loves will take him back.

“Cowboys Still Act Like Cowboys” is a countryesque ballad about cowboys and honky tonks.

“Nobody’s Child” is about a boy in an orphanage.

“Resting Place” and “From Where I Stand” are gospel songs.

Good solid bluegrass from a band that learned it from a master.

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THE BOXCARS, “THE Boxcars,” Mountain Home Records. 13 tracks.

October 18, 2010

When they call The Boxcars a supergroup, they’re not kidding.

Just look at their credentials.

Adam Steffey and John Bowman once played with Alison Krauss & Union Station.

Ron Stewart, Harold Nixon and Bowman are graduates of J.D. Crowe & The New South.

Keith Garrett and Nixon were members of Blue Moon Rising.

And Steffey and Stewart were in The Dan Tyminski Band.

Garrett is the band’s lead singer, but Bowman and Steffey each sing lead on two songs and Stewart on one.

They’re strong pickers too. Steffey is the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2010 mandolin player of the year.

And they’re good songwriters.

Garrett contributed five songs to the album and Stewart, four.

The band’s sound leans toward the country side of bluegrass.

Garrett’s murder ballad, “December 13th,” his “Old Henry Hill” and especially his “Never Played The Opry” would have found a place at the top of the country charts a couple of decades ago.

But there’s plenty of hard-charging bluegrass as well — “Take Me On The Midnight Train,” “Jumpin’ The Track” and “I Could Change My Mind.”

A great new band. A great new album.

It’s definitely one of the year’s best.

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J.D. CROWE, DOYLE LAWSON, PAUL WILLIAMS, “Old Friends Get Together,” Mountain Home Music. 12 tracks

August 9, 2010

Three bluegrass legends who graduated from Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys finishing school have teamed up for a gospel album that’s well worth fans’ attention.

Banjo legend J.D. Crowe was with Martin from 1956 to 1960; Paul Williams, best known for his bluegrass-gospel work, was also part of Martin’s late 1950s lineup, working with him from 1958 to 1963; and Doyle Lawson, whose band Quicksilver has been one of the top groups in bluegrass for a quarter century, was there from 1963 to 1966.

This summer, the three released “Old Friends Get Together,” a collection of 12 gospel songs, including two co-written by Martin — “Voice of My Savior,” written with Raymond Long, and “Give Me Your Hand,” written with Williams.
But all 12 songs are from Martin’s repertoire.

The album was recorded near the end of Martin’s life in 2005 and he was able to come to the studio to listen to the tapes.

There are no real surprises here. Just three bluegrass legends singing bluegrass gospel the way it was meant to be. The harmonies are as powerful as ever.

Songs include “Prayer Bells of Heaven,” “The Little White Church,” “Pray The Clouds Away,” “This World Is Not My Home,” “Shake Hands With Mother Again” and “Who’ll Sing For Me.”

Musicians include Ben Isaacs, Cia Cherryholmes, Sonya Isaacs, Ron Stewart and Harry Stinson.

Bluegrass purists alert: Stinson plays snare drums on the album.

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Bluegrass Returns To Its Roots this weekend

April 21, 2010

Owensboro Concerts LLC  will stage the ninth annual Bluegrass Returns to its Roots Festival this weekend at Diamond Lake Resort near West Louisville.

The performances will be in the newly renovated indoor Diamond Lake Resort Theater. 

Here’s the announcement about the festival:


J.D. Crowe and The New South will be the featured bluegrass musicians for the 9th annual event that was held 7 years at The Executive Inn Rivermont and in 2009 at the RiverPark Center. Local and regional bluegrass artists will also take the stage. Diamond Lake Resort offers a different atmosphere where one can enjoy the sounds of bluegrass. Campers, bluegrass fans, and families can experience a very special event at a spectacular location. Ole South Barbeque, bluegrass workshops, showcases, jamming, clogging, and more will make this one festival that you will not want to miss!

 Born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, J.D. Crowe picked up the banjo when he was 13 years old, inspired by one of the Flatt & Scruggs’ performances on the Kentucky BarnDance.  After that show, he regularly attended the duo’s performances sitting on the front row and studying Scruggs’ revolutionary picking. That was just the beginning of  his  legendary career. J.D. Crowe, a member of the distinguished  Bluegrass Hall of Fame, is one of the few bluegrass legends actively recording, writing, and performing this American form of music.

 Festival Schedule of Events

Friday, April 23, 2010:   6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

      Open jamming on the main stage.  A chance for individuals and bands to show their

       talent and share with the audience. Sign up when you arrive and get ready to take

       the stage!

Saturday, April 24, 2010: 

Bluegrass Showcase Bands

Diamond Lake Theater Main Stage

       10:00-10:45 a.m.                Chasin’ Chickens

       11:00-11:45 a.m.                Blackberry Jam

       12:00 Noon-12:30 p.m.      Emily Wills & The Whitelys

       12:30-1:00 p.m.                  Sweet T

       1:00-1:45 p.m.                    The Clabber Boys

       2:00-2:45 p.m.                    Grandview Junction

       3:00-3:45 p.m.                    Up N Gone

       4:00-4:45 p.m.                    The Kings Highway

       5:00-6:30 p.m.                     Dinner Break

              Ole South Barbeque, The Diamond Lake Grill, Pizza & Ice Cream Shoppe

       6:30 p.m. SHOWTIME       Doors Open 5:30 p.m.

           Master of Ceremonies  Judge Gene Lanham

           Tribute to America and to Kentucky by Owensboro’s own Randy Lanham

           The Bluegrass Allstars and Barry Lanham’s Foot Stompin’ Express Troupe

       6:45-7:25 p.m.    County Line Bluegrass

       7:30-8:15 p.m.    The Kings Highway

       8:30 p.m.             J.D. Crowe and the New South

   Bluegrass Workshops

Pavilion C


       1:00-1:30 p.m.    Mandolin  –  Mark Hargis – The Kings Highway

       1:30-2:00 p.m.    Vocal Harmony – Mark Hargis/John Johnston – The Kings Highway

       2:00-2:30 p.m.     Dobro – Mike Hobson – Up N Gone

       2:30-3:00 p.m.     Guitar – Veronica Lassiter – Mountain Harmony

       4:00-5:00 p.m.     Clogging – Barry Lanham and the Foot Stompin’ Express Troupe

Complimentary shuttle service throughout the festival by Lampkin Family Farms

Open jamming throughout the event at various locations.

FOR TICKETS: or call 270-302-5260

    Diamond  Lake Resorts  270-229-4900 for tickets and camping information

    Even Steven Locations:  270-683-3226    3400 Old Hartford Road

                                            270-771-4998    Highway 56 West

                                            270-785-3616    7155 Highway 81

    Ole South Barbeque:       270-926-6464    3523 Highway 54