Posted tagged ‘mountain home’

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.

LAWSON & WILLIAMS, “Chapter 3,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks.

March 27, 2017

 

In 2010, Doyle Lawson, Paul Williams and J.D. Crowe got together to pay tribute to their old boss, Jimmy Martin, with an album of gospel songs from Martin’s repertorie.

They called it, “Old Friends Get Together.”

It was so successful that they returned in 2014 with “Standing Tall and Tough.”

Since then, Crowe has retired, but Lawson and Williams have created “Chapter 3” — their third musical outing together.

It’s a collection of traditional country, bluegrass and bluegrass gospel songs.

There’s the Delmore Brothers’ “I’m Sorry I Caused You To Cry,” the Bailes Brothers‘ “I Want To Be Loved, But Only By You” and the Louvin Brothers‘ “I Feel Better Now.”

Williams wrote “Abigail,” “I’m Getting Over You” and “What Am I  Gonna Do With This Broken Heart.”

From the country side, there’s Dolly Parton‘s “Til Death Do Us Part,” Justin Tubb‘s “Big Fool of the Year” and Buddy Starcher‘s “I’ll Still Write Your Name in the Sand.”

And from the gospel side, there’s “I’ll Make It Through,” “There’s Absolutely Nothing  My God Can’t Do” and “I Feel Better Now.”

These days, it’s sometimes hard to decide if what you’re listening to is really bluegrass.

You won’t have any problem with this album.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try http://mountainhomemusiccompany.com/project/lawson-williams-releases/

 

SNYDER FAMILY BAND, “The Life We Know,” Mountain Home, 10 tracks

March 6, 2017

The Lexington, North Carolina-based Snyder Family Band is gaining a lot of attention in bluegrass circles these days.

And rightly so.

But it’s a small band.

Bud Snyder, the father, plays bass.

Siblings Samantha and Zeb play fiddle and guitar respectively.

And they come together with a wide range of influences — jazz, blues, Southern rock, Irish, swing, old-time and newgrass.

You’ll find a little bit of all that in their latest album, “The Life We Know.”

It’s more an acoustic musical stew rather than simply bluegrass.

The album kicks off with Lyle Lovette‘s “Cowboy Man” and ends with Samantha Snyder’s “American Prayer.”

She wrote five of the songs on the album.

Brother Zeb wrote the two instrumentals — “Clouds Over Texas” and “Who’s Mallory.”

Samantha’s songs include “Far Away,” “The Rain” and three gospel songs — “The Mystery,” “The King” and “American Prayer.”

The only songs the Snyders didn’t write were Lovette’s “Cowboy Man,” Toy Caldwell‘s “Blue Ridge Mountain Sky” and Jerry Reed‘s “Breakin’ Loose.”

Can’t find it in stores?

Try amazon.com.

 

CHRIS JONES & THE NIGHT DRIVERS, “Made To Move,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks

January 23, 2017

Chris Jones worked as a sideman with Dave Evans and then Special Consensus before moving to Nashville in 1989 as a member of Weary Hearts.

In 1995, he created his own band — Chris Jones & The Night Drivers.

And 22 years later, the music just keeps getting better.

“Made To Move,” which hits record bins on Feb. 10, is a blend of traditional and contemporary bluegrass.

Jones wrote six songs — four with bassist Jon Weisberger.

Weisberger co-wrote two others with other writers.

And banjo player Gina Clowes and mandolinist Mark Stoffel each wrote an instrumental — “Last Frost” by her and “What The Heck?!” by him.

The other two songs are covers of the Grateful Dead‘s “Dark Hollow” from 1973 and Johnny Rodriguez‘s “You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me)” from the same year.

“The Old Bell” is a Civil War song about a church bell that’s melted for bullets.

“Sleeping Through The Storm” is an uptempo gospel number.

“Range Road 53” is a hard-charging song about a man who’s been gone from home for too long and is on his way back.

“Silent Goodbye” is about a woman who never talks about her feelings. But her actions say she’s leaving.

Guests include Brooke Aldridge, Shawn Lane, Tim Surrett and Darrin Vincent.

Can’t find it in stores? Try http://chrisjonesgrass.com/music/

 

DARIN AND BROOKE ALDRIDGE, “Faster And Farther,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks

January 16, 2017

Darin and Brooke Aldridge, “the singing sweethearts of bluegrass,” released their first album, an all-gospel collection, in 2008, a few months before they were married.

Darin worked his way up through the bluegrass ranks, including a stint with the Country Gentlemen.

Brooke’s background is primarily in gospel.

Today, they are among the few groups whose albums just keep getting better.

And “Faster and Farther,” which hits record bins on Feb. 10, is the best yet.

Brooke, who sings lead on nine of the tracks, has never sounded better.

She cuts loose and wails on several tracks.

The album kicks off with “Kingdom Come,” a hard-driving gospel-ish song about keeping one’s eyes on the prize.

“Fit For A King” is a strong ballad about a street preacher.

“Highway of Heartaches,” which features some great fiddle work by Shad Cobb, is about a woman facing a long, lonesome road in life.

“Eugene and Diane” is a song about a country picker and a socialite who fall in love, but never tell each other.

“They lived and died regretting the things they never said,” the lyrics say.

There’s a great cover of Ian Tyson‘s “Someday Soon.”

“Heaven Just Got Sweeter For You” finds a widow looking forward to meeting her deceased husband in heaven.

Guests include Vince Gill, John Cowan, Pat Flynn, Tim Surrett and Barry Bales.

A very strong album.

If you haven’t discovered Darin and Brooke Aldridge, it’s time you did.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.darinandbrookealdridge.com/merchandise/ on Feb. 10.

 

ADAM STEFFEY, “Here To Stay,” Mountain Home Music. 12 tracks.

August 30, 2016

 

At 50, Adam Steffey has spent more than half of his life on the bluegrass music trail.

He has been a member of such bands as Alison Krauss & Union Station, The Isaacs and Mountain Heart.

And these days, Steffey is a member of The Boxcars —  the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Instrumental Group Of The Year from 2011 through 2013.

He’s won the IBMA’s mandolin player of the year award an unprecedented 11 times.

But “Here To Stay,” which Steffey surely is, is only his fourth solo album.

It features new recordings of songs that Steffey helped make popular through his years with other bands.

You don’t see Tex Ritter with songwriting credit on many bluegrass albums.

But “Dear John,” which was recorded by Hank Williams in 1951, definitely fits well into bluegrass.

So do the Wilburn Brothers‘ “Town That Never Sleeps” and “Little Liza Jane,” a song that dates to before the Civil War.

Shawn Lane‘s “Mountain Man” tells the story of a man who refuses to sell his land to the government and is willing to fight for it.

“Town That Isn’t There” is about a place destroyed by coal mining.

“Twister (Devil’s Dance)” is about a man watching a tornado destroy his farm.

Instrumentals include “Pitching Wedge,” “Hell Among The Yearlings” and “Come Thou Fount.”

Another good album by a bluegrass master.

Look for it Sept. 23.

If you can’t find it in stores, try AdamSteffey.com.