Williams and Clarke Expedition: Brand New Set of Rules

by Joe Hayes

This CD of solid Nashville bluegrass by veteran professionals never puts a foot wrong.  The polished group has great command of instruments, arrangements, vocals and pacing. The four piece group includes Blake Williams, a former banjo player of Bill Monroe’s, Bobby Clarke, a national Mandolin champ,  Kimberly Williams, a lovely female vocalist with a voice reminiscent of a young Dolly Parton, more church choir than roadhouse, and solid guitar work by Wayne Southards.


“Heaven On Earth”

Decades of experience show in the smooth presentations and performance. Spot-on solos follow lovely vocal harmonies.  Yet after several listenings, there was not a song that drew me back, or made me seek the lyric sheet. Perhaps too smooth, when I tend to like things with a little grit. Still, the quality and talent of this recording is evident.  The bonus comedy track at the end was unobjectionable material, suitable for family listening. If you enjoy church harmony singing, try Heaven on Earth or In my Heart. For fast picking and sweet mandolin and banjo interplay,  Jalepeno Halfstep and  Midnight Train, and the title track, Brand New Set of Blues speed it up and show off some licks.


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