Review: Marty Rayon – Southern Roots & Branches

An excellent album by the former lead singer for Shenandoah.

Marty Raybon has assembled a talented group of musicians to support him in an enjoyable mix of bluegrass classics with crossover songs from other genres. Consisting of a mix of familiar songs as well as new ones, Marty’s unique and distinctive voice and passion for singing are evident in each of the songs.

From the first hard hitting song of the album, “Down this Dirt Road Heartache,” reminiscent of Shenandoah at its best, to the delightful covers of familiar country songs like “Long Hard Road” and “Next to You, Next to Me,” each arrangement is fresh, tastefully played, and artfully sung. The blistering pace and intensity of “White House Blues” contrasts nicely with the slow, lament of “Ghost in this House.”

“Down The Road”

Throughout the album, Marty Raybon keeps the theme of “roots and branches” strong in the arrangements and tempos of each song and sticks more to the traditional side of music than any of the recent trends. I especially enjoyed the song, “Down the Road,” a Flatt & Scruggs classic, played here in a wonderful lively but rolling-along style, including the tremendous talents of Bryan Sutton on guitar. The Shendandoah classic, “Next to You, Next to Me” gets a new, acoustic treatment, and takes one back to the roots of country music. An enjoyable album all around!

Rural Rhythm Records

Tom Donovan

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