Posted tagged ‘larry stephenson’

LARRY STEPHENSON BAND, “Pull Your Savior In,” Whysper Dream Music. 12 tracks.

November 3, 2014

The Larry Stephenson Band is celebrating its 25th anniversary in bluegrass this year.

But Stephenson has been performing professionally for more like 40 years.

He started playing mandolin at 5 and cut his first record at 13.

As soon as he finished high school, Stephenson hit the road with Cliff Waldron and Leon Morris.

He moved on to Bill Harrell & The Virginians and then to the Bluegrass Cardinals before forming his own band in 1989.

Stephenson, long regarded as one of the best tenor singers in bluegrass, is celebrating his band’s 25th anniversary with an all gospel album — “Pull Your Savior In.”

He wrote the title cut, a hard-driving song about reaching out to Jesus.

The album includes several gospel standards — “Amazing Grace,” “Great Speckled Bird,” “How Great Thou Art,” “Let The Lower Lights Be Burning” and “Will You Meet Me Over Yonder.”

Also included are Lester Flatt‘s “Thank God I’m On My Way,” Rick Stanley and Donna Ulisse‘s “Come To Jesus Moment,” Randall Hylton and Cadillac Holmes‘ “If You Want To Live Forever,” the Louvin Brothers‘ “Born Again” and Bill Castle and Levon McCall‘s “Morningtime Always.”

Guests include Jimmy Fortune, Aubrey Haynie, David Parmley and Dale Perry.

Another strong album by one of bluegrass’ best.

Can’t find it in stores? Try

LARRY STEPHENSON, “What Really Matters,” Compass. 12 tracks.

June 18, 2012

LARRY STEPHENSON, “What Really Matters,” Compass. 12 tracks.

Larry Stephenson, one of the best tenors in bluegrass, has been making music for a long time. He started playing mandolin at 5, cut his first record at 13 and began touring with his father’s band while he was still in high school.

After high school, Stephenson worked with Cliff Waldron and Leon Morris before joining Bill Harrell & The Virginians in 1979. Four years later, he moved to the Bluegrass Cardinals.

And in 1989, he formed his own band and began making his own music.

“What Really Matters,” the latest in a long series of Stephenson albums,  is a blend of country, gospel and traditional bluegrass.

Kenny Ingram’s banjo gets a workout on Jimmy Martin’s “Bear Tracks.” Sam Bush comes aboard for a retelling of Woody Guthrie’s “Philadelphia Lawyer.” And Stephenson performs a classic country rendition of Loretta Lynn’s 1964 “Before I’m Over You” complete with steel guitar and snare drums.

There’s the gospel of “God Will” and “On The Jericho Road,” the pain of “My Heart Is On The Mend” and “You’re Too Easy To Remember” and the love of “What Really Matters” and “I See Love.”

There’s a solid bluegrass version of Merle Haggard’s “The Seashores of Old Mexico,” a hard-charging version of Ronnie Reno’s “Big Train” and a bluesy version of “The Blues Don’t Care Who’s Got ‘Em.”

A good album by a great musician.

Can’t find it in stores? Try