Posted tagged ‘mountain home’

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.

 

KRISTIN SCOTT BENSON, “Stringworks,” Mountain Home, 12 tracks

August 1, 2016

 

Kristin Scott Benson is a four-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s banjo player of the year and she’s been nominated for three Grammys as a member of the Grascals.

She got her first banjo for Christmas when she was 13 and hasn’t stopped seeking new ways to get the instrument to do new things.

“Stringworks,” her third solo album and first since 2009, features six instrumentals and six vocal numbers.

Benson wrote four of the instrumentals — “Great Waterton,” a rambunctious tune based on her son’s building and destroying the block town from Thomas the Train; “Eagle Eye Annie,” a happy tune named for Opie’s fishing rod on “The Andy Griffith Show”; “Traveler’s Rest,” a slow peaceful tune; and “Fisher,” a tune named for her dog.

Benson always includes a traditional tune on her albums. This time, it’s “Foggy Mountain Top.”

Claire Lynch sings lead on “When Fall Comes To New England,” Chris Jones on “All I Want Is You,” Mickey Harris on “Sink or Swim,” Shawn Lane on “You Gotta Climb Over The Cross,” Terry Eldridge on “Foggy Mountain Top,” (which also features her grandfather singing it on a radio show from the 1940s) and Grant Williams on “Till The Day Breaks.”

A good album.

Hopefully, it won’t be seven years until the next one.

Can’t find it in stores? Try ksbbanjo.com

 

 NEWTOWN, “Harlan Road,” Mountain Home. 11 tracks

July 5, 2016

Kati Penn-Williams started playing the fiddle when she was 10.

By the time she was 12, she was playing and singing with the Young Acoustic All-Stars, a band of teen-aged musicians.

Later, she became a member of the New Coon Creek Girls and continued through its transformation into the Dale Ann Bradley Band.

Since 2009, she’s headed NewTown, a Lexington, Ky.-based band, with her husband, Junior Williams, who honed his skills with NewFound Road.

They’re both good singers, giving the band more strength.

“Harlan Road,” the new album, is bluegrass infused with Americana, jazz, funk and a bit of rock.,

The title track, sung by Junior Williams, finds a lonely man waiting for his woman to come to him on a coal train.

His “Drifter Blues” tells the tale of a man who’s down on his luck and sinking lower every day.

And Williams’ “Hard Times” finds a man who’s desperate for a job turning to crime because “hell’s probably better than trying to get by.”

Kati Penn-Williams’ “All That I Can Take” finds a woman who’s given all she can and is hitting the road for a Mexican beach.

Her version of Lucinda Williams‘ “Can’t Let Go” rocks with as much country as bluegrass.

And “The Crows and the Jakes” finds her about to meet the hangman.

“Come Back To Me” is a duet that finds both singers wanting to reunite.

“Feast of the Gryphon,” written by Hayes Griffin, the band’s guitar player, is the album’s only instrumental.

Can’t find it in stores? Try TheNewtownBand.com.

Keith Lawrence (270) 691-7301

klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com