Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Down Home" - Josh Williams - A Review

Josh Williams is a former guitarist for the Rage, Rhonda Vincents group. I just reviewed another CD recently for another former Rager, Audie Blaylock. She must produce good musicians, because they are both very good CDs. The title Down Home is a good description of the CD. It is very down homey with sweet bluegrass instruments and songs about family and life.

Josh is a very good guitarist and plays almost all guitar here, both rhythm and lead. His leads really are very good and melodic, His mentor Tony Rice plays on one song "Blue Railroad Train". Josh does not write any of the songs , but he uses first class material, mostly great story songs . The Title track is a beautiful ballad. The music is so sweet backing up his vocals.

Some of the musicians that Williams uses are Mickey Harris on Bass, Randy Kohrs on Dobro, Jason Carter and others on fiddle.
Rhonda Vincent sings backup on a couple of songs. Aaron Mcdaris plays banjo, Stuart Duncan does some of the fiddle. Tony Creasman does percussion. These songs plain move or they will move you, like a good bluegrass ballad. Some of the songs have a pedal steel on them. Josh has a very good voice and knows how to take hold of a song. "Streets Of Bakersfield" is an upbeat bluegrass song that the musicians really take it up a notch. "Dream Of Me" is a ballad that has some good hooks and a really nice chorus with great harmonies.

"We'll Burn That Bridge" is an upbeat song with more good singing and playing. I am really surprised at the good collection of songs that Williams has found for this project. And his musicians are really good, he uses 2 or 3 banjo players, so you get some great banjo, but some different styles too. "Blue Water' is another killer ballad, that really makes you listen. Josh has a great career as a solo musician with a CD like this. And that is saying alot with all of the talent out there in the bluegrass market. I hear that he is working on a new Cd for later this year. If you like good bluegrass with a modern touch, just in the recording and production, otherwise, the material is pretty traditional, you should love this.

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