Posted tagged ‘rural rhythm’

STEVE GULLEY & NEW PINNACLE, “Time Won’t Wait,” Rural Rhythm. 12 tracks

October 9, 2017

Steve Gulley, a second-generation bluegrass musician, has been around the block a time or two.

He spent two years with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, moved on to Mountain Heart, then Grasstowne and finally worked with Dale Ann Bradley before launching New Pinnacle in 2015.

“Time Won’t Wait” is the group’s third album.

“Drowned in Sorrow,” the first single off the album, is a hard-driving song about lost love.

The title track says, “Time is not your friend.”

Gulley wrote or co-wrote five of the songs, including those two, and “You’ll Cry For Me,” a song that says she doesn’t want him now but she will when he’s gone; “You Can’t Help Who You Love,” a song about life’s choices; and “Leaving Sounds Pretty Good To Me,” a song that finds her begging him to stay, but him thinking that leaving sounds better every day.

Like most bluegrass albums these days, “Time Won’t Wait” features a traditional country song — Ronnie Milsap‘s 1976 country classic, “I Can Almost See Houston From Here.”

“The Road Back To You” finds a man at life’s crossroads, deciding to turn around and go home.

“I’m All Right” is about a trucker hitting the road and missing his family and home.

Jim & Jesse McReynolds’ “Congratulations Anyway” is about a man meeting his ex’s new love.

“G-Force,” written by Gary Robinson Jr., the band’s mandolin player, is an uptempo instrumental.

“Safe In His Arms” is bluegrass gospel.

And “Hold Your Horses” is an uptempo song about a man who’s not ready for marriage.

Another good album by Gulley and the band.

Look for it in stores on Oct. 20 or order it now at www.stevegulley.com.

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FELLER & HILL, “Brothers And Heros,” Rural Rhythm. 13 tracks

October 2, 2017

If you like classic country music and bluegrass, you need to discover Tom Feller and Chris Hill.

Their sound is blend of both.

Tom Feller is a nephew of Aubrey, Jerry, and Tom Holt, the backbone of the legendary Boys From Indiana.

He’s worked with Redwing, the Larry Stephenson Band, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, 3 Fox Drive and the Wildwood Valley Boys.

Chris Hill, a competitive clogger as well as a banjo player, has worked with the Wildwood Valley Boys, Gerald Evans & Paradise, the James King Band and Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show.

The two began exploring the possibilities of creating a band in 2010 and went on the road full time with their band, the Bluegrass Buckaroos, in 2013.

“Brothers and Heroes,” their latest album, is a blend of classics and new songs.

The first single, “The Bugler,” is one of three Civil War songs on the album.

It tells the tale of a boy who becomes a bugler for the Army in an effort to find his missing father — and the mother who goes looking for both.

“Atlanta Is Burning” is the story of a dying soldier who misses his family.

And “Rebecca of New Orleans” tells the story of a Southern woman who falls in love with a wounded Union soldier.

“Hammer Down” is a hard-driving song about a band flying down the interstate on its way to a bluegrass festival.

Covers of country songs include the Louvin Brothers’ “Childish Love,” Patsy Cline‘s “Back in Baby’s Arms”  and Jerry Reed‘s instrumental, “Jerry’s Breakdown.”

There’s also a cover of the Everly Brothers‘ “Wake Up Little Susie,” which always sounds funny when grown men are singing it.

Bobby Osborne joins the guys for a cover of the Osborne Brothers‘ “Tennessee Hound Dog.”

There’s a good cheatin’ song — “Lord, Help Me Decide” — which asks help to decide which woman to keep and which to dump.

And there’s a traditional murder ballad — “Duncan and Brady,” based on the shooting of policeman James Brady in the Charles Starkes Saloon in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1890. Bartender Harry Duncan was convicted of the murder and later executed.

Guests on the album include Tony Holt, Aubrey Holt, Jerry Holt, Bobby Osborne, Larry Stephenson, Junior Sisk, Lizzy Long, Heather Berry-Mabe, Michael Cleveland, Glen Duncan and Steve Thomas.

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

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

BILLY DROZE, “To Whom It May Concern,” Rural Rhythm. 12 tracks

July 31, 2017

 

In 1962, Bob Droze, a country, gospel and bluegrass artist, released an album on the Rural Rhythm label.

Now, 55 years later, his son Billy has done the same.

Billy Droze, a songwriter who has written hits for The Grascals, Flatt Lonesome, Junior Sisk and others, co-wrote all 12 songs on “To Whom It May Concern.”

But the former lead singer for Shenandoah, who used the name Billy Ryan at the time, is trying to make his mark as a singer these days.

The first single off the album, “Kentucky Blue,” went to No. 1 on the Bluegrass Today charts.

And “Better With Time,” the second single, is at No. 10 this week.

Marty Raybon, another former Shenandoah lead singer, joins Droze on “Chill in the Room,” a song about a love affair that’s about to end.

“Go Back There Again” is a song about longing to visit places of the past that no longer exist.

“Home in Hell” says that the devil is the only one who belongs in hell and don’t let him drag you down.

“Haunted By The Wind” tells of an old man buried in a shallow grave and how his spirit is leading the singer somewhere.

“My Father’s Son” is a gospel song.

“Rain Won’t Quit” is about hard times.

The title track is a string of platitudes that the singer has learned are true.

And “Sounds Like Pretty Music” is about the sounds that are music to him — a baby’s cry, a farmer praying for rain and hearing the thunder roll and a preacher in a country church.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try Amazon or other popular music sites.

CLAYBANK, “Playing Hard To Forget,” Rural Rhythm. 12 tracks

September 26, 2016

ClayBank isn’t a person.

It’s a bluegrass band — named for Claybank Road in the Claybank community in West Jefferson, North Carolina, where the band rehearses.

ClayBank has only been active for a little over a year, but it’s already gaining a lot of attention with its debut album.

The first single, “Up On Claybank,” recently made it into Bluegrass Today’s Top 15 singles.

ClayBank’s lead singers — Zack Arnold and Jacob Greer — are still in their teens.

But they’ve both been musicians for years.

They wrote “Up On Claybank” and the instrumental, “Foot of the Phoenix.

And Gary Trivette, the bass player, wrote and sings lead on “Daddy Would Sing,” a song about a hard-working farmer whose singing could be heard until the day he died.

“Demise of Handsome Molly” is a murder ballad.

“It Almost Feels Like Love,” one of the best sounds on the album, features the trio vocals of Greer, Arnold and Trivette.

“Sticking With The Old Stuff” and “I Believe” are bluegrass gospel.

The title track is a ballad about a man who took the woman he loves for granted — and lost her.

A good debut by a band that should be going places.

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

 

STUART WYRICK, “East Tennessee Sunrise,” Rural Rhythm. 12 tracks.

August 15, 2016

 

Stuart Wyrick has been playing banjo in bluegrass bands for years with the likes of The Tater Creek Boys, the Better Way Quartet, New Road, Brand New Strings, the Dale Ann Bradley Band and now Flashback, a reunion band of musicians who worked with J.D. Crowe & the New South in the mid-1990s.

Surprisingly, “East Tennessee Sunrise” is his first solo album.

Wyrick is joined by some top musicians here including Kenny Smith, Alan Bibey, Tim Crouch, Phil Leadbetter and Steve Gulley.

He wrote three of the five instrumentals — the title track, “Jennifer Dale Breakdown” and “Riding On The Clouds.”

Dale Ann Bradley provides the vocals on Dolly Parton’s “When Somebody Wants To Leave,” the album’s best track.

The list of guest vocalists includes Gary Kidwell on the Louvin Brothers‘ “Born Again,” Keith Garret on Ernest Tubb‘s “Walking The Floor,” Randall Massengill on “You’re The One,” Keith Williams on “Little Moonshine Johnny,” Steve Gulley on “Hitchhiking To California” and Vic Graves on “The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow.”

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

 

STEVE GULLEY & NEW PINNACLE, “Aim High,” Rural Rhythm. 12 tracks.

July 18, 2016

 

Steve Gulley has been around the bluegrass block a few times.

He spent 16 years at historic Renfro Valley as a performer, music director, studio manager and producer.

From there, Gulley spent a couple of years with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

Then, he became a founding member of Mountain Heart, went on to Grasstowne and spent a couple of years working with Dale Ann Bradley.

Last year, he formed New Pinnacle and went on his own.

The band’s first album, which was self-titled, was well received.

And the new album, “Aim High,” should be as well.

Some bluegrass albums these days are more country or Americana than bluegrass.

But “Aim High” is unmistakenly — and unapologetically — bluegrass.

The title track, a hard-charging song about not being afraid to break the mold and take chances, has already topped the Bluegrass Today charts.

Gulley co-wrote three songs — “Deceitful Kind,” “Love Brings You Home” and “Short Life Full of Trouble.”

The first is an untempo murder ballad.

The second is a ballad about a man who’s been everywhere, but now love is calling him home.

The third is a ballad about a man who’s going in style — until he’s murdered.

“Not Now” is the story of a man who doesn’t have time for his wife and son — and then he’s shot and pleads for more time.

“Closer to the Shore” is pure mountain gospel.

“Common Man’s Train of Thought” is a song about politics and who’s going to represent the common people.

Another good album by a man who’s known for good albums.

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

Keith Lawrence (270) 691-7301

klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

RONNIE RENO, “Lessons Learned,” Rural Rhythm. 11 tracks.

March 30, 2015

This year, Ronnie Reno celebrates his 60th anniversary in bluegrass.

Not bad for a guy who’s 67 years old.

He started performing with his father, Don Reno, on the Old Dominion Barn Dance in 1955.

Through the years, he’s worked with his father, the Osborne Brothers, Merle Haggard and a lot more musicians before going his own way.

Reno also hosts the television series, “Reno’s Old-Time Music  Festival,” on RFD-TV

“Lessons Learned” is his first album in almost a decade.

He wrote or co-wrote all but two of the songs — his father’s “Trail of Sorrow” and Lefty Frizzell’s No. 1 single from 1951, “Always Late.”

Lefty’s brother, David Frizzell, joins Reno for a duet on the song.

“Lower Than Lonesome,” the album’s first single, says, “love gets you high, then turns around and says goodbye.”

The title cut says that “joy and pain go together like sun and rain.”

“Bad News At Home,” “Our Last Goodbye” and “Trail of Sorrow” are all about break-ups and pain.

But the album has an almost playful sound — like the instrumental, “Reno’s Mando Magic.”

Bluegrass has always been able to marry sad lyrics to uptempo, almost happy picking.

Reno comes across as an old master, in a comfortable setting, saying, “I know it’s rough now, but it will pass.”

“I Think of You” is a song about a love that’s lasted a lifetime.

And “Deep Part Of Your Heart” says that’s the part of a person’s heart reserved for the one’s you love the most.

Despite all the lonesome songs, “Lessons Learned” is really about surviving life’s hard knocks and finding love.

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