Friday, 05 April 2013
Well, if you want to get on my good side, cover a song from Laura Boosinger, and indeed that’s how Della Mae starts this collection. “Letter from Down the Road” is a traditional song with new words and arrangement from Boosinger, and the version included here is a very faithful romp through a delightful piece. From there, Della Mae keeps the energy up on what is easily the best release from them to date.
Tuesday, 02 April 2013
There are lots of good bluegrass albums and there are a few great ones. There are also some that stand out even above that list and this new release from Dailey and Vincent is going to prove to be one of those. It’s the sixth album from a band that remained consistent throughout their career, both in terms of quality and line up. They’ve won all sorts of awards and the pedigree of both Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent is unequivocal, coming from careers with Doyle Lawson and Ricky Skaggs bands, respectively.
Tuesday, 05 March 2013
In the liner notes for her Lifeline gospel album, Iris Dement states that to her, gospel songs from her mother’s youth were less about religion, but rather about the promise of wisdom and solace for those going through rough times. I am 60 years old and have been a bluegrass fan since age 20. I have always enjoyed bluegrass gospel songs as part of the genre. As I age and face the troubles of life, I have come to prefer bluegrass gospel tunes over more secular bluegrass fare. Most of my life I have been neo-pagan; I hadn’t worshipped in a church since my youth. Recently I returned to church, drawn by the music and perhaps some of the message is sinking in. I still enjoy classic gospel songs, but remain very eclectic in my religious views. “Are you a Christian, child? Ma’am, I am tonight.” – Marc Cohen (“Walking in Memphis”).
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers latest album, They’re Playing My Song (Rebel Records), is a celebration of the group’s bluegrass, country and gospel roots. Starting with the first track “A Blue Million Tears” (written by Joe Mullins) and continuing through to the last of 14 tracks, I was impressed by the richness and texture of their harmonies and the band’s strong, cohesive sound. This is an album that deserves to be listened to multiple times (and I did!). Each time I played through the CD, I found more to appreciate.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Recorded at and presented by the International Blue Grass Music Museum, Owensboro, KY
This six song CD has excellent vocals and musicianship throughout. A confession: this is my first review and I am neither a musicologist nor an instrumentalist. What I have done best musically is sing – so my approach is to listen for a song that I want to learn so that I can sing along. Valerie has an excellent sampler of her abilities and an accomplished group of fellow musicians backing her on this CD. I wish I knew the back story to this CD – what is the Museum’s role here, and do these cuts represent a showcase of things she is great at or are they attempts to do some new things musically? In any event, enjoy!