Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Last Of A Dying Breed" - Lynryd Skynryd

 Sorry that I have not been able to do much in the way of reviews recently, have had alot of health issues recently, and a big increase in requests for reviews since I started my facebook page, which I started for my family and you guys, but somehow, I have been getting a lot more requests, which I really appreciate, rather than just sending me something. I love music, but I don't have Health insurance and it is hard to get care without it, I am thankful for the clinics I go to. Seems like it is always something since I went on SS disability. This has really been a good year for music in my opinion. May I take this chance to wish you all a very Happy Christmas or Hannachuk Season.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the most iconic of the Southern Rock Bands from the 70's era still performing today. Not many of the original members still left, I saw the original lineup in June of '77 at RFK stadium in Philly, they were opening for Peter Frampton, but they seemed to be the main attraction. Before them, Dickey Betts and Great Southern and The J Geils Band started the Show. Betts played a short set as he was having trouble with the sound system. It was a real hot day, and it took a while to get everyone in the 100,00 seat facility, J Geils was playing when I got there with a few friends. They were like a blues rock type band. They were pretty good, but got a couple of requests for free bird.
This was the only time I saw the original lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd. They really were a great live band, the band really came out cooking, I never had seen a band with three lead guitar players and they were excellent. They had their traditional 70's Backdrop, a huge Confederate flag. They already had alot of hits, "Gimme Three Steps", "The Breeze", and the incredible "Free Bird". Their live show was incredible.
They were on Discovery Channel's Bikers Build Off Tonight and the present configuration of Lynyrd Skynyrd played "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Last Of a Dying Breed", the title track for their latest CD. They nailed both songs and the performance was really good considering they have only a couple of original members.
Personally, I do not believe that Lynyrd Skynyrd would be able to have gone on after the plane crash if it had not
been for Johnny Van Zant, who sounds alot like his brother Ronnie and even looks like him and took over the Lead vocal slot.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Christmas The Mountain Way" - Christmas Bluegrass DVD/CD

This Christmas DVD/CD release by Rural Rhythm Records is a very warm enjoyable experience. It Highlights a lot of their artists and has a couple of really nice original songs. It is recorded in the Bell Theatre in Pineville Kentucky. There is a crew of stage musicians including Jason Burlesn (banjo/guitar), Clint Hurd,(mandolin); Brandon Godman(fiddle), Vic Graves(dobro), and Bryan Turner and John Bradley on bass. A very beautiful and reverent production.
The MC for the night is Mike Scott. "Christmas The Mountain Way" is written and performed by Dale Ann Bradley and Steve Gulley. The other new song is written and performed by Cumberland River. It is named "Christmas In The Mountains". Lots of traditional Christmas songs and hymns take up the other 13 songs, which makes the DVD run over an hour, and the DVD has many special features. I'm happy just watching and listening to this great music. Audey Blaylock is a very good singer and performer. Marty Raybon sings his songs very well. Dale Ann Bradley is a great singer and adds alot to the production. Cumberland River is really the only totally full band, but their original song is very nice,bluegrass and Christmas go well together. You will enjoy this, it is so down home, nice decorations ,a lot of work into this show, and I'm only mentioning the highlights, there are more artists than I'm telling you about. You really need to get this and share it.

www.ruralrhythm.com

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Papertown" - Balsam Range" - A Review

This CD is a very refreshing and delightful piece of music. It is recorded in the fairly traditional bluegrass way. This group is five men, who got the name of their group from the Balsam Range of mountains in North Carolina that surround the area where they grew up around Canton, N. C., which is "Papertown". It is a great collection of songs written by a varied group of writers. Mostly fast paced and upbeat with some very good bluegrass ballads too.

The five men of Balsam Range are very seasoned and talented. Caleb Smith plays guitar and sings. Smith is an excellent all around bluegrass guitarist, whether picking out a snappy solo or playing rhythm guitar. He also builds guitars on the side when he is not playing with Balsam Range.
 
Buddy Melton plays an excellent fiddle and sings some of the lead vocals. Darren Nicholson is their hot mandolin player. Marc Pruitt plays some very good Scruggs like banjo. Tim Surrett plays upright bass and sings backup vocals.
 
The production on this CD is very good for acoustic music, the instruments have a very realistic sound with excellent tone. The mix and mastering is very well done too, leaving you a disc that is very easy on the ears. It is quite close to audiophile quality.
 
The album starts out with a mid tempo ,love gone wrong song called "Other Side Of The Mountain." The next song "Any Old Road" (will take you there), Caleb Smith sings lead on this song, He and Buddy Melton take turns singing Lead vocals, and sometimes one will sing lead on the verse and the other will sing lead on the chorus in the same tune. This is a mid tempo song too. It also has a very melodic bridge.
 
"Wide River To Cross" is a beautiful slow ballad. The instruments are quiet in the mix ,while Buddy Melton sings lead. Caleb Smith picks some fast guitar runs in "Day In The Life Of A Railroad Spike", the fastest song yet.
 
Smith sings "Better Days", a slow melodious song with some pretty fiddle. This song also has Surett playing some resophonic guitar which sounds very nice. "Row By Row" is a very melodic song sang by Melton, it is a gospel song.
 
OK, there is a little surprise here as I hear the guitar riffs to "One Way Out" ,a song made popular by the Allman Brothers which is sang in blues style by Tim Surrett, bass player. Caleb Smith really takes off on the single string guitar, making this song a fun break in the middle of the CD. Caleb Smith plays some more sweet lead guitar on "I Could Do You Some Good".
 
"Papertown" is the story of the mill town Canton where they were from, a slow melodic song sung with lots of emotion. They finish the CD playing "The Stream Lined Cannonball" (Roy Acuff). They really get the tempo up here and this CD ends too quickly for me.
 
Yes, I really relished this disc as it shines forth Appalachian gold. Balsam Range is a real talented bunch on the Mountain Home Label. The art work on the four sided cardboard disc holder is very well done in Depression Brown. CD recorded at Crossroads Studio in Arden,NC by Van Atkins and Scott Barnett. Disc mastered by Van Atkins. A very well done recording in all aspects.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Music To My Ears" - Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder- A Review

This year has been a time of tremendous releases of Bluegrass music, this new Disc by Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder being up amongst the top with some Stiff Competition, like The Roys, The Grascals and The Lonesome River Band.
I'm a bit partial to this as it is an audiophile recording,It has been seriously recorded by Skaggs Studio and mastered by Georgetown Masters in HDCD(Old Haunts of genious "Golden Ears" Denny Purcells, now run by his apprentice Andrew Mendelson and crew), The Sound quality just shimmers, and this is a full blown production that has a lot of time and love put into it. Skaggs produced the CD with the help of Gordon Kennedy. All that said, the recordings of the other artists mentioned were quite incredible themselves, like the latest Roys's CD ,which is also done in HDCD.

Ricky has some real good material on this Disc, like "Music to my Ears", a Christian bluegrass song that has the grand traditional bluegrass sound. Also, a great tribute to Doc Watson, who passed away this year, it is called "Tennessee Stud", a mid paced bluegrass gem with Cody Kilby on guitar. Kilby is one of the best guitarists in this genre today, along with Tony Rice, Bryan Sutton and Others. Skaggs is not one to be afraid to step out side the box, and he does some here with the slight sound of electric guitar floating down over some of the songs. Gordon Kennedy takes care of that. Skaggs has songs on here that just live, and they might live on in your heart like "There's Nothing Like A Family" ,last song on disc ,just leaving you with a sense of joy.                       www.rickyskaggs.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Goin' Down Rockin" - Waylon Jennings - New Recording

The Hot Seat and TuneIn Offer GOIN’ DOWN ROCKIN’: The Last Recordings of Waylon Jennings from Saguaro Road Records, Due Out September 25

Nashville, TN (September 18, 2012) – The Hot Seat, a Nashville-based diverse media company specializing in national radio marketing and satellite media tours, is pleased to announce a venture into original content with TuneIn. Hosted by the legendary outlaw’s son Shooter Jennings, the world premiere of the highly anticipated Saguaro Road Records’ GOIN’ DOWN ROCKIN’: The Last Recordings of Waylon Jennings will be made available to the 40 million monthly listeners who use TuneIn. TuneIn is widely accessible on more than 200 devices, and available practically anywhere with an Internet signal, including all smartphones and tablets, smart TVs and radios, car dashboards and on the web at tunein.com.

“The Hot Seat is excited to reach an engaged, global audience of millions through TuneIn,” said Jason Turner, VP/Operations at The Hot Seat. “We’ve gotten amazing feedback from the special and look forward to working with TuneIn on more projects in the future.”

One of the all-time greatest country music vocalists, Waylon Jennings wrote 11 of the 12 songs on Goin’ Down Rockin’, 11 of which have never been released before. He recorded them with his accompanist Robby Turner, but died before they could be completed. A decade later, Turner painstakingly finished the tracks to Jennings’ specifications, working with musicians such as Reggie Young, Richie Albright and tour mate Tony Joe White. The songs have been met with bittersweet excitement and warmly embraced by those who knew him best. Recorded shortly before his death in 2002, Goin’ Down Rockin’ will be available on September 25 from Saguaro Road Records.

For the world premiere of GOIN’ DOWN ROCKIN’: The Last Recordings of Waylon Jennings, visit:
http://tunein.com or download the free TuneIn Radio app, available on all smartphones and tablets.

About The Hot Seat:
The Hot Seat is a diverse media marketing company specializing in national branding and exposure. The Hot Seat offers custom, artist-driven content for radio, TV, online and other platforms. Located on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn., The Hot Seat works with artists at all levels to help maximize exposure and build and broaden the highest level of awareness.

Media Contacts:
The Hot Seat
Jason Turner / jason@hotseatonline.com / 615-690-7384
- This is a great Waylon type country CD that can only be a blessing and surprise to Waylon's Fans and country music in general. Waylon tracked these songs with his pedal steel player,Robby Turner, recording it at his studio. Robby would ask him, when He wanted to finish it, and Waylon would say, You Do it in your time, well that time did not come til now, about 10 years after Waylon's Death. Robby got the rest of the band in the studio,and thy did a remarkable job of finishing the disc, It is classic Waylon all of the way. The first song on the CD "Goin' Down Rockin" was written by Tony Joe White (Polk Salad Annie), You would not know the way this CD was put together, unless someone told you. Jenning's voice is strong on all of the cuts. Reggie Young plays some great lead guitar. Well, I sure hope you pick up this disc, it has the warmth of an old Friend.
- Jim Moulton

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Grascals : Top Spins on Bluegrass Junction

The Grascals: Top Spins on Bluegrass Junction

Life Finds a Way is Most Played Album, Includes Most Played Single
6H7A0407.jpgNASHVILLE, TN --- The Grascals' latest album, Life Finds A Way, topped the Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction Chart this week with the highest number of plays. Additionally, the single, "Pretty Melody," which appears on the album, also enjoyed top spin status for a single.
“We want to thank the fans who listen and the good folks at Bluegrass Junction for playing,” Jamie Johnson says. “We sure love making the music, and it’s really sweet when folks respond so enthusiastically.”

To listen, tune into Bluegrass Junction (channel 61) on Sirius XM radio or visit
www.siriusxm.com/bluegrassjunction
siriusxm-300
The multiple IBMA Entertainer of the Year award winners and multiple Grammy nominees are at their harmonious and instrumental best with Life Finds a Way (Mountain Home Records). The band is currently touring in support of the new project, sharing bluegrass classics and new music from the album. Band member, Kristen Scott Benson, just picked up yet another nomination as Banjo Player of the Year in the upcoming International Bluegrass Music Association annual awards.
The Grascals recently made their 125th appearance on the stage of the world renowned Grand Ole Opry.
For more on The Grascals, visit www.grascals.com
ABOUT THE BAND
Among the most beloved and acclaimed bands on the bluegrass scene, The Grascals have been repeatedly honored for their work. Named Instrumental Group of the Year at the 39th Annual SPBGMA Awards earlier in 2012, the group previously brought home three SPBGMA awards in 2011: Instrumental Group of the Year; Mandolin Performer of the Year (Danny Roberts) and Banjo Performer of the Year (Kristin Scott Benson). In 2010, they were named SPBGMA’s Bluegrass Band of the Year. The Grascals have also received the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year award (2005) and Entertainer of the Year award (2006, 2007). Kristin Scott Benson is the three-time winner of the IBMA’s Banjo Player of the Year Award (2008, 2009 & 2010). They’ve been twice nominated for Grammy Awards.
The Grascals joined Hank Williams, Jr. for numerous shows on his Rowdy Friends Tour throughout 2010, and headlined over 150 shows at State Fairs and on the Bluegrass festival circuit as well. The Grascals continue to enjoy extensive media exposure on a variety of outlets, including NPR’s Mountain Stage, RFD-TV, CMT, GAC, The Grand Ole Opry, Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon, FOX & Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Country Network (TCN) and both CBS’s Early Show and The Talk.
MEDIA CONTACT FOR INTERVIEWS, REVIEW COPIES:
Description: smaller bw penguin graphic
claire ratliff
laughing penguin publicity
po box 140396 | nashville, tn 37214
 



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Where Were You When THe World Stopped Turning?" - Alan Jackson


The Roys Align With Team RealTree Outdoor Energy Drinks

Nashville, TN (September 10, 2012) -- Award-winning brother/sister duo THE ROYS have aligned with Team RealTree™ Outdoor Energy Drink for a strategic partnership.  THE ROYS will travel to their upcoming shows in a newly-wrapped bus with design and camouflage graphics courtesy of RealTree.  "It looks amazing," says Lee Roy.  "Very earthy," Elaine adds with a wink.  Other marketing efforts will be announced soon.
 
Team RealTree Outdoor Energy Drinks are available in several flavors. White Buck delivers a traditional energy drink flavor profile, but with a crisp, clean finish you've come to expect from Team RealTree Outdoor Energy.  Blaze Orange's crisp, refreshing flavor is paired with the perfect drinkability without being too sugary; easy to drink with the right amount of energy kick makes any hunt one to remember.  AP Citrus is cool and refreshing; carbonated with a hint of lime, the smooth and light flavor gives every outdoorsman a boost of energy to stay focused and alert.  Low-Carb Cream Soda is a new take on a classic; delivering all the flavor of a traditional cream soda with an extra energy boost--the only thing you sacrifice is calories.
 
 "We're truly excited about our partnership with THE ROYS," says Jamey Grosser, Managing Partner of Team RealTree Outdoor Energy Drink.  "Lee and Elaine are hard-working, energetic and talented.  They are in touch with Middle America and aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and enjoy the great outdoors."
 
 Team RealTree Outdoor Energy Drink's slogan is "Not For City Boys," but the beverage, like THE ROYS' music, appeals to fans from all walks of life.  Currently the reigning Inspirational Country Music's Bluegrass Artist of the Year, the siblings are considered to be one of the fastest-rising acts in the business.  THE ROYS are heralded for a forward-thinking instrumental attitude that contrasts and complements their more traditional vocal style.  The duo has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada, performing at huge Festivals and Fairs and reaching larger and larger audiences.
 
 Lee and Elaine will need some Team RealTree Outdoor Energy Drinks in hand to tackle their next road run.  Upcoming appearances include numerous high-profile television and radio broadcasts surrounding the release of their newest EP, NEW DAY DAWNING, which debuted at Number 2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart last week.
 
 THE ROYS' full itinerary, photos and audio clips are available at www.THEROYSonline.com.
 
 Copies of NEW DAY DAWNING are available at retail outlets Wal-Mart, Music Millennium, The Disc Exchange, The Country Music Hall of Fame, Ernest Tubb Record Shops and online at AMAZON and iTunes.
 
About Team RealTree Outdoor Energy
NOT FOR CITY BOYS--As the number 1 energy drink brand for living life outdoors, Team RealTree Outdoor Energy is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for brands that complement the lifestyle of today's outdoorsman. Team RealTree Outdoor Energy beverages are the first to feature 16 oz. metal re-sealable bottles, different camouflage patterns for flavor variations and the distinctive Team RealTree logo.
 
 For more information, please visit us on FACEBOOK.
RealTree AP ©2006 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved.
 

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Super-Hot Roys Sign With Prestige Agency,Moonstruck Management

Nashville, TN (September 6, 2012) - Another new day is dawning for super-hot duo THE ROYS.  The trend-setting siblings just signed an exclusive global booking agreement with prestige agency, Moonstruck Management.  "Peter and I have been fans of THE ROYS since the beginning," notes Josh Trivett, Moonstruck Management partner.  "We have watched them closely - both as they burst on to the Bluegrass scene with their signature sound and gave performances that are their own and truly unique.  It is with great pride that we join THE ROYS' team, and we look forward to growing with them for years to come," Trivett adds.

For Lee and Elaine the signing with Moonstruck Management for representation is another step forward.  Just as their sophomore Rural Rhythm Records' disc debuts at Number 2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart, they join an elite roster that includes Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Sal Gonzalez, Lonesome River Band, Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press and The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys.

As the reigning Inspirational Country Music's Bluegrass Artist of the Year, THE ROYS have just received nominations in three categories for the 18th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards scheduled to be held October 18.  The siblings were previously honored with the ICM's Duo of the Year award in 2010 and 2009.

Fans can follow THE ROYS online at THEROYSonline.com, Facebook and on Twitter @theroysonline.

MEDIA
so much MOORE media
Martha E. Moore / 615-746-3994
somuchmoore@charter.net
www.somuchmoore.com

BOOKING
Moonstruck Management / Excellence, Integrity, Vision
Josh Trivett / 626-893-5216
Josh@moonstruckmanagement.com

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Roys Start new CD with #2 Ranking on Billboard Bluegrass


THE ROYS' NEW DAY DAWNING Debuts On
 Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart At Number 2
 

 
 
Nashville, TN (September 5, 2012) - THE ROYS' sophomore Rural Rhythm Records' disc, NEW DAY DAWNING, debuts at Number 2 on Billboard's Bluegrass Albums Chart.
 
NEW DAY DAWNING is a seven-song EP (a first for a Bluegrass artist) that finds the siblings in fine form.  Their impressive traditional-style vocals ride high over progressive musicianship, keeping the duo's sound fresh and energizing. Their songwriting talents are truly remarkable, and the disc's first single release, "Still Standing," written by Lee and Elaine is already proving to be another "winner."  Other highlights include the live-show favorite "Grandpa's Barn," the heartbreaking "Daddy To Me," the moving "Windin' Roads" and the hypnotic "Fast As We Roll."
Reviewers are hailing NEW DAY DAWNING, saying:
 
"The album showcases Lee and Elaine's smooth, enjoyable brand of modern, Country-influenced Bluegrass." - BLUEGRASS TODAY
 
"If you are new to the magic of family harmony in Bluegrass, start with THE ROYS.  If, on the other hand, you are steeped in the Louvins, the Stanleys and the Osbornes ... when you first hear NEW DAY DAWNING your reaction will be 'Yeah man, that's it right there! Don't change that channel.'" - WORLDWIDE BLUEGRASS
 
"On their new studio album, NEW DAY DAWNING, the brother/sister duo continues to blend an uplifting message with a traditional sound and sibling harmonies as they take time to reflect on their own roots." - GAC
 
"There's not a weak song on the album." - BLUEGRASS NOTES
 
In case you missed these features and reviews, click on BILLBOARD, GAC, ROUGHSTOCK, Examiner.com, ParcBench and NO DEPRESSION.
 
In addition to glowing reviews, the EP is drawing high numbers in the Social Media world.  During a Twitter chat on August 28 with Jessica Northey of #CMChat, over 25 million impressions and a reach of 1 million were tallied. "Great numbers for a special Tuesday chat with THE ROYS," notes Northey.  "It was wonderful to have Elaine and Lee as guests on #CMchat!  They are both so talented.  I loved hearing their personal stories and delving deeper into the Bluegrass genre."  Lee and Elaine's Facebook pages and Twitter accounts have also enjoyed high levels of activity since the EP's release was announced.
 
The brother/sister duo's first Rural Rhythm release, LONESOME WHISTLE, debuted at Number 7 on the same chart and ended up with a spot on BILLBOARD Top 50 Bluegrass Albums of 2011 chart.  That CD also generated two hit singles: "Coal Minin' Man" and "Trailblazer."
 
Fans can follow THE ROYS online at THEROYSonline.com, Facebook and on Twitter @theroysonline.
 
BOOKING
Moonstruck Management
Josh Trivett
626-893-5216
email
 
 
Media Contact for The Roys:
Martha E. Moore 615-746-3994
 so much MOORE media
somuchmoore@charter.net


Rural Rhythm Records:
615-470-5451
Facebook
Twitter
 
Media:
 Penni McDaniel, email
678-377-3298
Radio:
 Rick Rowler, email
615-470-5451
NEW DAY DAWNING available to RADIO now at AirplayDirect.com
 
Album Photography and Graphic Design by:
 Anthony Ladd, Kneelindesign
 HIGH RES pic  here
HIGH RES cover art of NEW DAY DAWNING here.

 

Monday, August 27, 2012

"New Day Dawning" - The Roys - A Review

This collection of songs by Lee and Elaine Roy has the same refreshing vibe as exhibited on their last Rural Rhythm CD, "Lonesome Whistle", their sound is fresh ,especially their harmonies which have that special sibling sound.  Their music has a unique bluegrass/country acoustic sound. They do this with the help of alot of Ricky Skaggs band and other studio musicians. Randy Kohrs plays dobro, Mark Fain is on bass, Cody Kilby plays guitar, and Justin Moses on banjo. Andy Leftwich helps produce and plays mandolin and some great fiddle.

  This CD features songs all written by the Roys with some help from some friends such as Lonesome River Band's Brandon Rickman. This is actually an EP ,with seven songs, but it is cheaper and in my opinion there are no filler songs on it. Their first single has already been released and has been a breakout hit. It is "Still Standing" which has great lyrics and an infectious melody.

  I love the first song on the EP, "New Day Dawning" ,the title track, which starts the album out with an upbeat bluegrass sound, and I love the theme of this EP, which is basically family and life story oriented. For example, the songs "Daddy To Me" and "Grandpa's  Barn"  are both family oriented ballads which are just plain solid songs.

  This is a very well produced CD, which has been recorded at Skaggs recording studio, like their last CD. Go check out their website and get a good deal on an autographed CD.      

                         www.theroysonline.com

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Move Me Brightly" - Tribute to Jerry Garcia on 70th Birthday,TRI

Honestly, This show blew me away, I was not prepared for this wild ,eclectic, huge crowd of musicians. Phil, Thanks for starting your night off here, before you left for your own show, which was at your studio. Mike Gordon fit in very well, and played each song like he had known it for awhile, which, he probably had. I have watched all of the highlights show, which was an excellent choice of shows. Bobby, great job as emcee, and keeping everything going smoothly. This in my own honest opinion was the Best presentation of Dead songs since the last days of the Dead, and some of the "Furthur" shows. There is something in the music this night, that is just so cohesive, that is a vibe of the presence of the Dead. The show starts out with a reverant version of "The Wheel", which is a Jerry song witha Spiritual side to it. Phil came to play in the songs He played in, He looks good for all of the health problems that he has had over the last number of years, He also sounded very good, both on bass and his vocals in the first 2 songs that he sang in, "The Wheel" and "Cumberland Blues" . As He left, Mike Gordon came up on stage with Phil's bass, for which I did not know was going to be for the next 4 hours. I really appreciate what Weir had in mind when that studio was built,I am sure there is some great normal CD recording that goes on there but it was built for streaming video, and internet shows. This is going to be a hard one to top. The first one to show up was the 2 hour highlights version, which is the best of the best and now, right beside it on youtube, is the whole 4 hour 23 minute show. What is remarkable is the quality of the picture, probably would look great on a 36 inch screen. Also, They have a huge selection of vintage mikes, amps, guitars, pedals,lots of guitarists were bringing out that Envelope filter sound that Garcia put in his sound in the seventies. OK, some quick faves of mine,"Ship Of Fools" sang masterfully by Neal Casal and he also took my head off with his guitar solo. "Mission In The Rain" sang by Jonathon Wilson made you think that Jerry was in the house, as he sang this and also when he turned on his envelope filter and played an awesome guitar break. Donna Godcheaux was on the stage for these two and she was singing fine and just getting into it. "Terrapin Station" took me back to another time as these young guitarists on stage just about nailed the song, especially a 3 part harmony guitar part that was incredible. Cass McCombs sang the lead on this as he did on "Dupree's Diamond Blues", Cass did a great version on both of these songs. This is as good of a version of Terrapin as I have ever Heard. In ending, I don't know how this concert could be topped today, but I am happy that We have TRI Studios to hear good music on. Excellent production.                            -Check Out You Tube for 4 Hour Show-

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday, August 05, 2012

"Lonesome River Band" - Chronology,vol. 2 - A Review

Disc two of the Lonesome River Band  Chronology has a similar sound to the first one, It starts off with a bonus song,written by their guitar player, lead singer, Brandon Rickman. The song is an upbeat tune called "Barely Beat the Daylight In". This is the first single from the EP, and it is a rich sounding upbeat song about trying to get home on time. It has a catchy melody full of some neat hooks with some great parts by the banjo,fiddle and mandolin. I was happy to see this disc mentioned in Audiophile magazine, because like the first disc, the Sound Quality produced by the folk up at Mountain Fever Studios and the mastering by Bill Wolf at Wolf Mastering is equal to audiophile. The tonal qualities are sweet and as good as it gets for a regular CD, That's why you should get the CD, because if you download this selection of songs ,they won't sound as good as the CD, an overcompressed mp3 file was not designed to be listened to.

  The other seven songs are from the 92-02 season of the Lonesome River Band. The twist is that they are done with today's version of Lonesome River Band and their sound, so they are not supposed to mimic the original versions. Lots of songs about heartbreak and hard luck songs, but they really don't project those moods, it is an upbeat mood. "The Crime I Didn't Do" is sort of a slow sad song about a guy who ends up bustin' rocks for something he didn't do. I really like "Sweet Sally Brown", just a real nice upbeat love song. I have watched several youtubes of this group and they sound excellent live. They just look like they enjoy what they do. And I bet they put on an awesome live show, this CD sounds like a live type performance rather than a studio recording. Sammy Schelor is one of my favorite banjo pickers, He just gets some great tones out the banjo and he is a master of the instrument. This group is full of great pickers and they are so good, really precise and original. Hargrove on fiddle does an excellent job as does Randy Jones on mandolin. Brandon Rickman lays down a real solid rhythm guitar for the vocals and lead instruments. As Barry Reed does a fine job on the bass. Watching the group play live, they really are together and Sammy Schelor has a big smile on his face has his group tears it up. This is great CD for chasin' away the blues. Enjoy!

                            www.lonesomeriverband.com

Sunday, July 08, 2012

"Texas, Del Rio, Revisited - Unplugged and Lonesome" - Radney Foster - A Review

This was a great idea and an even better creation. Radney was still getting alot of requests from this CD.and it was out of print so He thought of doing an unplugged version of it. This is Foster's first solo CD after "Foster and Lloyd" broke up. I fell in love with it and know every song on it from the first electric Texas country version of it.

   This is a simple ,but beautiful production. It was recorded in a studio over a weekend, and he had everyone sitting in a circle in the big room of the studio, Really has a great acoustic sound with a pretty impressive guest list. I'm going to list the main players, there were a lot of background singers. One thing I will say, it brings out the same vibe as the original version, plus it has a new song that he just wrote called "Me and John R." on it. Radney does vocals and acoustic guitar, Marty McGuire (Dixie Chicks) fiddle and background vocals, Jon Randall Stewart,acoustic guitar, mandolin,background vocals, Steve Fishell, Dobro and Weisenborn, Brady Black, fiddle on two songs, Michael Ramos, accordion, Wurlitzer,  Matt Borer, percussion and Glenn Fukunda, upright bass.

   The new song "Me and John R." is about his Dad and Johnny Cash. It is an upbeat song, after I read that in the CD cover, the song made sense,a real musical tune with lots of hooks and real pretty acoustic guitar picking and dobro, too.

     I am going to give you a list of the original 10 songs:

        1. Just Call Me Lonesome
        2. Don't Say GoodBye
        3. Easier Said Than Done
        4. A Fine Line
        5. Me and John R.
        6. Nobody Wins
        7. Old Silver
        8. Louisiana Blue
        9. Closing Time
       10. Hammer and Nails
       11  Went For A Ride

          - This is one of the finest acoustic recordings that I have heard in awhile, presented in HDCD,a must have for Radney Foster Fans, Radney Foster is a special talent, who has put out a real winner.

             www.radneyfoster.com

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Mindy Smith" - Mindy Smith - A Review

Mindy came out with her first CD on Vanguard Records back in 04. Seems like such a long time ago. I was crazy about her music, when I heard that CD. Mindy was a songwriter in Nashville working for a songwriting company, where she had access to recording studios to record her demos to give out to Producers and however that company worked. Mindy was originally from Long Island,New York. But she moved to Knoxville, Tennessee because of her Dad's job. In Knoxville, she became interested in playing guitar and singing and then in songwriting.

Smith moved to Nashville to be closer to where her dreams were, singing and writing songs. So,she continued to write and record her music. She had the opportunity to record "Jolene" on a compilation CD and then She started singing around Nashville, and She got together with Steve Buckingham and made her debut CD "One Moment More", which was to me ,an aural masterpiece with the beauty of her vocals and lyrics and the edge of hot electric guitars making her not unlike Lucinda Williams. Her voice had that ache in it from losing her mom, That is what "One Moment More" is all about. Vanguard records released her first four CDs and then Mindy kinda vanished.
I heard about this new Cd on her own label and had to hear it, because her last CD on Vanguard ended up not so good in my opinion. It was called "Stupid Love" and it was more like a pop record, the alt/country trappings were gone. In fact, there was so much distortion on the first 2 songs, you could not listen to them. There was some good songs on the CD , but the magic from her first three Cds was gone.

Well, with a new label and publicist, and a great recording, Mindy Smith is back, singing better than ever, this CD reminds me alot of her first CD. It has everything, from Beautiful ballads like "Tin Can","If I", "Everything Here Will Be Fine", "Devils Inside" to rockers like "Sober", and mid tempo tunes like "Cure For Love" to sad songs like "When You're Walking On My Grave". The music is very well done with Bryan Sutton on guitar and Dan Dugmore on pedal steel who played on her first CD.
Her first single "Closer" is a song that reminds me of "Come To Jesus" with it's loud guitars and mixture of other instruments in a collage of sound. Her vocals are strong and sweet, with some great hooks and lyrics. The flow of songs is great, where there is tension, she will relieve it in the next song with a pretty ballad.
And for something new, Mindy did the great artwork for the CD , and also has been doing a good bit of painting. There is one offer where you can buy some of her paintings. This is literally, a great work of art.

              www.mindysmithmusic.com

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Still Standing" - The Roys - A Single Review

 The Roy's are just about ready to release a new Album. This is a review of their first single from the CD ,named "Still Standing". On this song, they take on a new type of sound, not as processed and country as their last CD. This song is an upbeat song, which sounds very much bluegrass, reminds me a bit of Rhonda Vincent and The Rage. There is lots of fiddle and Dobro. Elaine does the lead vocals and seems very comfortable with this stripped down bluegrass sound.

   The song is about perseverance, talking about identity and getting on with life. I find myself a little bit with mixed feelings, because I do love bluegrass like this, but The Roy's last CD was so Lush sounding and such a great country album with bluegrass influence. This does make me wonder what the rest of the CD will be like. I can't help but think it will be good, musicians follow their heart or ears ,I really like this, I have some other new surprises that I got recently in the mail. Keep your ears out for this one!!  It's a Good song, different, but real good.

                                   www.theroysonline.com

The Wampler Ego Compressor Pedal - A Review

I have had 3 versions of this pedal by Brian Wampler. It is based on his design ,building a compressor for himself years ago, though he has tweaked the design. Very versatile,this compressor has 5 knobs to adjust your compression from full blown chicken pickin' to a much more subtle compression or to a separate clean boost channel.
    It is not parallel compression ,like The Barber Tone Press, It is more like 2 pedals in one, a clean boost and a Ross like compressor. Wampler uses only top grade parts in his compressor, and it is a very well built pedal. The blend knob gives you the choice of how much of each channel you want to use, boost or compression. The attack knob goes into action when the pedal has the blend knob on compression only, Honestly I have not found a setting of this compressor that I do not like. There is included in the compressor box, a very complete set of instructions.
    Finally, Wampler has a tone knob which can give you some bass to treble changes, going to clockwise. This was a request of customers, not the tone knob, it has been there, some customers wanted it's action to change in how it interacts with tone and presence and it is a little different than just a plain tone knob. All in all, it is a very good product at a fair price. I truly love it myself ,recently I turned on one of Philly's best guitarists, Jim Fogarty to it and He said it took his Pedalworx Squeeze Factor off his pedal board for the Wampler.  Listen to Brian's Demo on his website.                   www.wamplerpedals.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Up Here In The Saddle" - Todd Fritsch - A Review

Todd Fritsch had a very bad accident roping horses at the family ranch  three years ago. So ,He had to get away from what he loved best and help out at the family business, though the music dream never left his heart.

  I have a theory that the best music comes from a musician who has been through the fires. In Todd's case, I really think that this is true. His vocals sound better and more focused than ever. His sound is more Nashville, but country Nashville, not pop Nashville.

  He really has the privilege of being able to use a very good song catalog here. He has some really good writers at his disposal here. His sound goes from Jason Aldean to George Strait. These songs are my favorites. Todd really puts alot of emotion into this project.

  Some of my favorites are the opener, which is very upbeat,"My Kind Of Crowd", a Jason Aldean type song written by Bryan Simpson. An awesome slow ballad is "Calls I Haven't Made", which might be the best song on the disc.

  "In a Song" by Doug Johnson is a slow song with lyrics that are brilliant and a song that Todd does so well.

  "Horses He Can't Ride Anymore" - This is a Dean Dillon song about a cowboy near the end of his trail, very moving. Dean Dillon does alot of writing with George Strait.

  "That Girls Got A Cowboys Heart", (Dean Dillon) - this is another great song, a bit more upbeat, These Dillon songs sound like A list songs, not throwaways or B list material. Dillon makes a significant contribution to the mood of the whole project.  This CD will be released on June 26, so enjoy.

                                       www.toddfritsch.com

"Up Here In The Saddle" - Todd Fritsch - A Review

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mindy Smith is Back, yes, BACK!!!

Welcome back Mindy Smith with an awesome new album and also some really neat artwork, Look for her on the road in a town near you.
              www.mindysmithmusic.com  CD at website or Amazon.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

GraphTech - The Tusq Pick - A Review

I received a small package from Graph Tech about 10 days ago. It had the new Tusq picks I had requested to review. There are so many new cords, strings, pedals and picks out there today for the guitarist to shop for. The nice thing about picks is they are cheap, well unless you use The Blue Chip Pick which costs 35 bucks a pick ,but they are worth it. My most read review was on The Blue Chip Pick. They are a great pick, they are like synthetic tortoise. And they really improve your guitars tone.

    Well, that is the idea here and I think Tusq wins too. You remember when you first heard about Tusq, it was the saddle and nut on your new Taylor guitar. They are very good sounding, a very proprietary blend of some plastic like material. The Picks are cool, I am playing with my favorite right now. It is an ivory colored .88 pick. That one is best for me. The black  .68 didn't have enough mass for me though I could play with it fine. The medium sized Tusq pick is great. (Subjective here, for me it is great.) All sizes come in white,ivory and black. They cost a buck a pick, that really is not bad, They come in packets of 6 for 5.95. They are real stiff, so it is easy to strum or play lead, They are great for playing mandolin runs on a guitar. When you drop one , it has a musical ping to it. They look like they would last forever. I think they will be popular, they ought to be in your store pretty soon, if not, you can get them at Graphtech's website.
                              www.graphtech.com

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Roys On TV This Weekend - June 2


Brother/Sister Bluegrass Duo Guests On RFD-TV's Reno's Old Time Music Festival & PBS Special, Pa's Fiddle: Charles Ingalls, American Fiddler

Nashville, TN (May 30, 2012) -- Bluegrass stars THE ROYS make two national TV appearances on Saturday, June 2, as they are guests on both RFD-TV's Reno's Old Time Music Festival and the PBS Special, Pa's Fiddle: America's Music.

Reno's Old Time Music Festival, hosted by Bluegrass legend Ronnie Reno, features THE ROYS singing five songs from their current CD, LONESOME WHISTLE (Rural Rhythm Records): the album's title track; their current single, Trailblazer; their #1 hit, Coal Minin' Man; the driving up-tempo Nothin' I Can Do About It Now, and the contemplative, I Wonder What God's Thinkin'. The program, seen by nearly 20 million viewers each week, is one of the most dynamic, acoustic music programs on television. Each episode contains stunning performances, historical footage, in-depth interviews and a deep respect for the heritage of Bluegrass music. THE ROYS' segment airs Saturday, June 2 at 6 p.m. CDT/ 7 p.m. EDT. Viewers should check www.rfdtv.com for more specific local listings.

The PBS Special, Pa's Fiddle: Charles Ingalls, American Fiddler, is the brain-child of Dr. Dale Cockrell, director of MTSU's Center for Popular Music and scholar of the songs embedded in the LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE books. Lee and Elaine Roy perform songs unique to the project: Buffalo Guys and Gum Tree Canoe. In January they joined Randy Travis, Ronnie Milsap and numerous other stars for the taping of the Special, which raised the rafters of the Loveless Barn outside of Nashville. The show airs Saturday, June 2, at 7 p.m. CDT/ 8 p.m. EDT; fans can learn more about this unique tribute to the music of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the program HERE. Nashville airings on WNPT- TV include Sunday, June 3 at 7 p.m. CDT/ 8 EDT and Monday, June 4 at 11 p.m. CDT/ midnight EDT.


Fans can find all the news on Lee and Elaine at www.theroysonline.com

# # #
MEDIA CONTACT

Martha E. Moore / 615-746-3994

www.somuchMOOREmedia.com

somuchmoore@charter.net

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rural Rhythm Artists - Busy Summer Coming

Lonesome River Band

Rudy Fest hosted by Lonesome River Band @ Carter County Fairgrounds, Grayson, KY


Brand New Strings performing at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame at the CD Release Party for LIVE AT BEAN BLOSSOM now available on Rural Rhythm Records. Photo by Anthony Ladd, Kneelindesign & AnthonySP.



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lonesome River Band

Rudy Fest hosted by Lonesome River Band @ Carter County Fairgrounds, Grayson, KY



Brand New Strings

Greeneville Summer Music Fest, Greeneville, TN



Charlie Sizemore Band

Charlotte Bluegrass Festival, Charlotte, MI



Friday, June 29, 2012

Lonesome River Band

ROMP @ Yellow Creek Park, Owensboro, KY


 Pic: Nu-Blu performing at Silver Dollar City



Saturday, June 30, 2012



www.LonesomeRiver.Band

South Branch Valley Bluegrass Festival, Romney, WV



Blue Moon Rising

Everett Brothers Music Barn, Suwanee, GA


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"My Side Of The Street" - Tommy Steele - A Single Review

I think every guy at one time or another falls in love with a gal that really is into a different lifestyle. That is what this song is about, He falls for an upper class chick who really is not into his biking ways. That is what "Why don't you come to my side of the street" means.

  This is a good sounding song with acoustic guitar and electric slide guitar in the forefront. This has the Nashville country type sound to it with an edge. It was released to radio on May 21, so maybe you ought to call your station and see if they can play it for you if you are a fan. The guy has a real nice website, You should go check out the video for this song and see what it does for you. The guy is into his music.

                www.tommysteeleband.com
                                      

Monday, May 21, 2012

Some Music News

Well, Hello Folks, hope everyone is doing well and has good health.  Just going to catch up on a couple of new music items,that I have come across recently. The first one is on my CD player right now. It is a new CD by the Group called The Boxcars. They are a form of a bluegrass supergroup with Adam Steffey and Ron Stewart who play mandolin and banjo respectively. They had been in Dan Tyminski's Band while AKUS was on sabbatical and Alison Krauss was singing with Robert Plant. They had enjoyed playing together with the others in the Band ,backing up Dan Tyminski.
   The CD is called "All In" and it has a very traditional type sound. Some great high lonesome harmonies and Bluegrass music. There are some really nice gospel songs too.

    Next up is the latest guitar effect pedal from Wampler's Pedals. He has a line of at least 15 pedals before this. His pedals are used by artists like Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Johnny Hiland and me(LOL). This pedal has created alot of interest and attention on the internet and amongst guitarists. Brian Wampler has been working on this pedal for about a year. It is made to approximate the sound of the late 50s tweed amps made by Fender.  It is called the "Tweed 57", and it does give you that vibe, but more than that, the pedal is a great overdrive pedal on it's own merit.There are several tones and drive effects that you can do using this pedal besides just giving an imitation of the Fender Tweed amp. You can get sounds from ZZ Top to Joe Walsh to some incredible blues tones. A feature that I really like is you can clean up the tone with the guitar volume knobs. You can hear many videos of the pedal on youtube, by doing a search or just going to Brian's new website www.wamplerpedals.com .  I am happy for Brian, He has been doing this for a number of years and I am happy that his pedals are catching on very well. He also does a video himself which is very interesting, because He is a very skilled guitarist, He really brings out the sweet spots on the pedal and the type of songs that it sounds well with.

   Very happy to report that Carrie Hassler has made the Billboard Bluegrass Chart with the song "The Distance" from her latest CD. Well, hope to have some more for you soon. I do have a new CD just in.
                               Brian Wampler

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Wild Together" - Carter's Chord - A Review

  Carter's Chord is a group of three sisters,Johanna, Emily and Becky Robertson. Music was always a big part of their lives, as their parents were both members of  Waylon Jenning's backup band. They moved from California to Nashville as youngsters they became friends with Waylon, Jessi and Shooter, also hanging around and learning more about music.

  This six song EP was produced by Toby Keith and Mark Wright. It is a very heavily, full produced Nashville sounding recording. The recording is high quality, and it has some of Nashville's best musician's on it. The songs are all written by the girls, sometimes with the help of others. I like every song on here, they are songs that express alot of feeling and they harmonize so well together. The songs are well written and have very good hooks and melodies inside of them. They sound like a group that has been together for quite awhile and they have. 

  My two favorites are the title track "Wild Together" and a mid tempo song "A Little Less Comfortable." The song "Wild Together" is their tribute to the Jennings family, and it is an upbeat song that makes you want to get up and move. "A Little Less Comfortable" is a song that has this groove that just grabs me and I like the lyrics alot. Another song that I like alot is the last track "Love A Little Bigger". This song was written by Emily after they had been on a trip to Guatemala doing some charity work. It is a real tender ballad.

   All in all, If they stick with it, these girls have the goods. They are better than a lot of country acts on the Billboard charts in my opinion, time will tell, they really look like they enjoy their singing and that can make the difference.

                           www.carterschord.com
                                       

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Second Season" - Kristin Scott Benson - A review

                  
Kristen Scott Benson was making CDs before she joined the Grascals. This is her second recording, it is with Pinecastle Records. She produces it and has a lot of help on the disc with singing, instrument playing ,and inspiration. It is definitely traditional Bluegrass,  with the help of artists like Wayne Benson, Larry Cordle, Mickey Harris, Sally Jones, Cody Kilby (one of my favorite bluegrass flat pickers), Larry Stephenson, Jim Van Cleve , (fiddle player with Mountain Heart) and last,but not least , Josh Williams (previously with Rhonda Vincent's Rage.)

   Kristen  writes some of this material, some is other's songs and some is public domain. It is a very high quality recording and some tight versions of some great bluegrass music, You would not think it was a banjo players CD, she really does not put herself in the spotlight more than anyone else. I like that she writes a  little blurb about each song recorded. Lots of mandolin and fiddle on the CD and Cody Kilby plays his own style of bluegrass guitar. They do an Instrumental by Bill Emerson called "No Steering, No Brakes", which I like a lot, it is mellow, but upbeat and just a great Bluegrass song.


   "No Southern Comfort" - This is a sad ballad song, sung by Josh Williams. Very good delivery and plenty of bluegrass licks,and nice high lonesome harmonies.  "Far Enough Away" is a slow paced instrumental written by Kristen. It shows the quiet side of banjo playing which you do not really hear very much. Some nice licks by Cody Kilby too, love his guitar playing.  Jim Van Cleve plays some very musical fiddle. She has an incredible mix of musicians here.


   Well, I would like to leave some to your imagination, but if you like bluegrass music, I don't see how you you couldn't like this. When Kristen becomes a Grascal she turns it up a notch and her banjo playing is more treble sounding, like a bluegrass banjo usually sounds. She does a lot more Scruggs type pickin with The Grascals. This is very good though.



--
God Is Good
www.countryreviews.blogspot.com

Monday, May 07, 2012

Oak Ridge Boys To Play At CMA Music Festival

The Oak Ridge Boys among Star-Studded Lineup
 CMA Music Festival at LP Field
 
Jam Packed Week Also Includes Riverfront Show,
 Country Music Hall of Fame Event & Fan Fair Hall Signing

Nashville, TN (May 7, 2012) -- Grammy Award winning group, The Oak Ridge Boys, will deliver the National Anthem as part of the Nightly Concerts at LP Field during the CMA Music Festival on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:45 p.m.  Prominently known as "Singers of the Anthem," the country legends were proclaimed the official National Anthem Singers by the National Association of Music Educators National Anthem Project from 2005-2010.
“It is an honor to be invited by the CMA Music Festival to sing the National Anthem at LP Field.  The Boys are very active in the Festival this year, and have been part of every Festival and Fan Fair since the very first one,” says lead singer Duane Allen.
Oak Ridge Boys member Joe Bonsall adds, “The CMA Music Festival has not only become Nashville's biggest yearly event, but country music is now bigger and stronger than it has ever been. We feel like we have placed some stones on the mountain, but the artists of today have reached higher than ever before to take country music to amazing heights of artistry and performance. We are all thrilled to stand with them at CMA Music Fest once again.”
This year’s 4-day event will take place on Thursday, June 7th through Sunday, June 10th in Downtown Nashville. The powerhouse group will be featured at various performances, host a special signing at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and appear at Fan Fair Hall in celebration of the CMA Music Festival and the group’s current CD, It’s Only Natural, released through Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®.  These events follow the Opry members’ recent performance at the grand opening celebration of the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City which generated global headlines.
The Oak Ridge Boys are touring across the U.S. this year, including headlining additional casino shows in Las Vegas.  Fans should also be on the lookout for new CD releases such as the highly anticipated country/gospel album Back Home Again scheduled to launch on May 22nd as well as a Christmas project.
For more information on concerts and CMA Music Festival events featuring the Oaks, please visit: www.oakridgeboys.com       (Courtesy Of WebsterPR)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Grascals On GAC

TUNE IN ALERT
Multi-award winning bluegrass artists, THE GRASCALS, appear on GAC-TVs Headline Country this week! The band recently celebrated the release of their latest CD, Life Finds A Way (Mountain Home Music) with a “blue carpet” event at the SiriusXM Music City Theater in Nashville.

Check http://www.gactv.com/gac/program_guide/ for complete listings.


HEADLINE COUNTRY on GAC
Thursday, 4/19  - 8 p.m. Central and Midnight
Friday, 4/20 - 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Central
Saturday 4/21 - 9:30 a.m. Central

Keep up with The Grascals at www.grascals.com



MEDIA CONTACT
claire ratliff
laughing penguin publicity
po box 140396 | nashville, tn 37214
615.476.3200
laughingpenguin@comcast.net
www.penguinpublicity.com

Monday, April 09, 2012

"The Distance" - Carrie Hassler - A Review

 Carrie is back with eight great new songs and all is well with the World. This is a lush recording, and it is really tastefully done with some great players  like Tim Stafford, guitar; Ron Stewart(banjo), Justin Moses, (fiddle), Mark Fain,(bass), Dale Ann Bradley,(background vocals), and the CD's producer Steve Gulley,(background and lead vocals).

  "Give My Love" is a gospel song that is just a great melody, with great instrumentation, some real pretty pedal steel. Carrie sings this so well, this recording sparkles, very well done. The disc starts out with "Luxury Liner", originally done by Emmy Lou Harris, Carrie does it a bit more bluegrass oriented. It moves real well. Sweet Fiddle and banjo, plus some sweet dobro.  Steve Gulley and Tim Stafford gave her a great song. It is called "All I Have to do is Breathe". Some really great lyrics for Carrie to delve into. "Get Me Over You" is another upbeat song about getting over someone, she once loved. It is written by a friend of Carrie's (Jennifer Strickland).

    The title track "The Distance" is a hit, in a real world, this would be a Billboard Hit. I just put my phones on and the stereo spread is awesome. Bradley's harmonie's come out the other side of the Headphone. "Eugene and Diane" by
(Carl Jackson) is another winner.  Steve Gulley sings the Male duet part of this. It is a ballad and love song that is another winner,it is so plain pretty. Steve's vocals are so natural for this. The guitar picking is so pretty. Carrie is so fortunate to have all these bluegrass greats help her out. It sure does show.

     "Keep Your Memory Warm" is a super, slow love song that was written by Steve Gulley. This is really great. Gulley is a great song writer(starter of Mountain Heart). I have been waitng for Something by Carrie for a while, Well here it is,and it is no disappointment. Why is it so easy to write a review of something you love and sometimes I have to push myself through a mediocre CD. No mediocracy here on this Disc. This will be released by Rural Rhythm Records on April 24,2012. The artwork on The CD is very well done, in a traditional jewel case. Carrie looks stunning. Now, I would love to hear a new CD by Melanie Cannon next.  Check this out.

     www.carriehassler.com
     www.RuralRhythm.com

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

"Calls I Haven't Made" - Todd Fritsch - A Single Review

  Todd has been singing and recording for awhile. I was never really that impressed with his early songs. He was involved in a serious accident in a roping incident, that put him out of commission for awhile. This song is the first Single He has released from a CD He is working on. It really is full of that X factor that makes a song Special. He sings with a new Command to his lyrics and the record is a great production that isn't overdone, but it backs this song good. The subject about calls He hasn't made is a song that I think We can all relate to. The lyrics are just excellent and I love the use of pedal steel in this song. His voice is the top thing in the mix, which it should be.

  I think that the tough times can make us better and I think Todd's experience with the School of hard Knocks has elevated his game, yeh, this is real good, It's a song that will stay in your head. This is as good or better than anything on the Country top 40.
                         www.Toddfritsch.com

Carrie Hassler Has New CD Coming, The Distance

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"UnderCover Folk" - Jason Serious - A Review

Jason Serious is from Maryland originally, Now He resides in Munich ,Germany. This is a seriously excellent CD. The sound quality is astounding. He has his road band with guests. Johannes Joss plays drums. Alto Kraus is on bass and vocals. Dave Ingleton does banjo and vocals. This CD is seriously good, it is real professional sounding.

    Many great songs, reminds me of a 70s album. Many great guitar parts, acoustic and electric. "Everybody's Somebody's Beautiful" is a killer ballad. Serious really can write a great melody. His songs are all over the place,from country rock to rock to Dixie Land Jazz. He sounds like a well seasoned singer-songwriter, He comes across as someone who has been recording albums for years. He reminds me of Gram Parsons for some reason. His lyrics are full of satyr and sly humor.

      Ten very good to great songs here, some very good instrumental parts everywhere. His songs are full of imagery in his lyrics. By the way, I did not mention, that Jason plays guitar and piano on CD. "Horse" is a song that rings to another century.

    "UnderCover Folk" fuels the fire for the disc, love the electric guitar riff that it is built on. It is full of political references and phrases that would make you know what he is thinking.

     I wish the Best for Jason, check him out, a special CD by a special person.

    www.JasonSerious.com

Friday, March 30, 2012

Please Remember Earl Scruggs, A key renovator in Bluegrass Music

  Earl Scruggs passed away this week. Earl was one of the most well known names in Bluegrass and Banjo picking, whether it was with Flatt and Scruggs, or with his son Randy in The Earl Scruggs Revue, He will always be known for his three finger picking style. God Bless Earl Scruggs.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Life Goes On" - Musicians Against Childhood Cancer

             

Two Disc Set Includes All-Star List of Talent including:
Lonesome River Band, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Marty Raybon, The Grascals,
 Blue Highway, Tony Rice, Shawn Camp, Josh Williams, Rhonda Vincent, J. D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson, Chris Stapleton, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle,
 Jerry Salley, Ronnie Bowman, Brandon Rickman, and many more
 
 

 
Nashville, TN (March 27, 2012) --  Rural Rhythm Records is proud to announce the highly anticipated new album release, LIFE GOES ON by the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer® is now released.  This new 2 CD set is now available for purchase at Amazon.com, County Sales, Ernest Tubb Records Shops, the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer website, Rural Rhythm Records, directly through the participating artists and many more locations.  LIFE GOES ON was recorded live during the annual MACC festivals from 2006 - 2011 with the exception of the new single "Life Goes On" that was recorded at Randy Kohrs' Slack Key Studio in Nashville, TN.  Tracks include:
 
Disc 1
 01  GOODBYE TO THE BLUES – Johnson Mountain Boys
 02  BEYOND THE SUNSET– Doyle Lawson, Russell Moore, Jamie Dailey, Josh Swift
 03  RAGGED MAN – Gibson Brothers
 04  I GOT A WOMAN – Pine Mountain Railroad
 05  PLEASE COME TO BOSTON – New Found Road
 06  SIX FEET UNDER THE GROUND – Michael Cleveland and Fame Keeper
 07  IN THE TIME THAT YOU GAVE ME – Shawn Camp
 08  GOIN’ ACROSS THE SEA – J. D. Crow & The New South
 09  HIGHWAY OF SORROW – Junior Sisk
 10  FRAULEIN – Lost and Found
 11  RAIN AND SNOW – Brandon Rickman (Lonesome River Band)
 12  REVELATION – Bradley Walker
 13  PANHANDLE COUNTRY – Clay Hess & Friends
 14  ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE – Josh Williams Band
 15  FORTY YEARS – David Parmely & Continental Divide
 16  THE WATER IS WIDE – Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
 17  HARD TIMES – The Grascals
 18  PAUL’S MINISTRY – Paul Williams
 19  STRUTTIN’ TO FERRUM – Lonesome River Band
 20  BLUE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN – The SteelDrivers
DISC 2
 01  MANZANITA – Tony Rice
 02  ROLLIN’ AND TUMBLIN’ - Dudley Connell, Randy Kohrs
 03  PRECIOUS MEMORIES – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
 04  LITTLE JOHN I AM – Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out
 05  TENNESSEE WHISKEY – Chris Stapleton, Morgane Hayes, Bradley Walker
 06  SMASHVILLE – Sierra Hull & Highway 111
 07  GIVE MY LOVE TO ROSE – Sally Connell, Dudley Connell
 08  WHERE THE NEVER DIES  - Don Rigsby & Josh Williams
 09  NOTHING BUT A WHIPPORWILL – Blue Highway
 10  THE WATER SO COLD – Marty Raybon and Full Circle
 11  THE TURKEY BUZZARD – Joe Mullins & Aubry Hayine
 12  HE DIED A ROUNDER AT 21 – Junior Sisk, Randy Kohrs, Josh Williams
 13  THE LIKES OF ME – Randy Kohrs Band
 14  SHOUTING TIME IN HEAVEN – Kenny & Amanda Smith
 15  AT THE END OF THE A LONG LONELY – Danny Paisley & Southern Grass
 16  MEMORIES OF MOTHER – James King
 17  I SHOULD’VE CALLED – Larry Stephenson
 18  OLD VIOLIN – Larry Cordle, Michael Cleveland
 19  LIFE GOES ON – Jerry Salley, Carl Jackson, Ronnie Bowman, Rickey Wasson, Larry Cordle
 
 
Rural Rhythm Records will soon release a new music video of the first single, “Life Goes On.” The song  is currently #8 on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart.  The VIDEO was filmed at Liberty Church in Gallatin, TN during the week of the 2012 SPBGMA convention and features Jerry Salley, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Rickey Wasson, and directed by brothers, Sammy Passamano III and Anthony Passamano of Rural Rhythm Records.  Although the video is still in production, the label has released a short clip as shown below.  Family memory photos are courtesy of the musicians involved in this project and Darrel Adkins.  Darrell and Phyllis Adkins founded Musicians Against Childhood Cancer in honor of their daughter, Mandy who lost her battle with cancer on November 25, 2000.  Proceeds from the annual festival benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Life Finds A Way" - The Grascals - A Review

Well, The Grascals just inked with their new label "Mountain Home", and they waste no time releasing a new CD. They had been with Rounder Records for a number of recordings, even had their own imprint, "BluGrascal Records" for a couple of CDs. This new CD has a bit of a different flavor to it, with a more country sound to their mix than usual, They still have their Bluegrass roots to the sound, maybe it is just the recording style, more of a modern, contemporary sound, following a real Bluegrass sounding CD in their Andy Griffith Tribute EP.

   The Grascals still are Jamie Johnson, guitar and vocals, Danny Roberts, mandolin, Kristin Scott Benson, Banjo and guitar, Terry Smith ,vocals and bass, Terry Eldredge, vocals and guitar, and last,but not least, Jeremy Abshire on fiddle.
Their vocals and harmony's are excellent and moving. They have a real good selection of songs, a couple of covers and some real good new original songs and a few songs by friends. Some interesting artwork on the cardboard sleeve. The sleeve has several folds in it for pics and testimonies. Nice liner notes by Tom T Hall and his wife Dixie. It makes for some interesting reading.

   My favorite song on the CD is a cover by James Taylor, "Sweet Baby James", When Terry Eldredge goes into that with the beautiful pedal steel in the song, it really hits me emotionally and takes me back to when I was just getting out of High School, had always loved that song, The Grascals do a real emotive job on it and I really like Jamie's and Terry's  vocals. They do a nice upbeat Bluegrass jam called "Eleven,Eleven" which is a very good instrumental take. I really like their other cover song too, "Mystery Train" had always been a song that I had liked through the years. Nice mandolin on the song.

   Jamie does another original ballad that I love, "Pretty Melody", A very melodic song about a couple of school kids that ended up being life mates. Kristin's banjo is more restrained than usual on this CD, but she does some really sweet melodic parts here. The title song "Life Finds A Way" is another Grascals song that is a very melodic mid tempo ballad. The lyrics are great. The last song on the thirteen track disc is a beautiful gospel number called "Road To Surrender". This CD seems to be a real reflective type of musical creation. There are a couple of drinking songs that seem a bit out of place, but maybe, they are trying to break the serious vein of a lot of the songs. The instruments seem to be more in the background than usual, and the tones are not real crisp, but more on the mellow side. I would have loved to hear the award winning Kristin tear up a banjo break on a song or two.

    Grascal fans will love this, I enjoyed it alot, maybe it will bring some new fans. I love this mix of musicians and hope they stay together. Check it out.

   www.grascals.com
   www.crossroadsmusic.com      

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Bring It On Home" - Joan Osborne - A Review

 Joan Osborne has a real hot record here. She has given the Blues a shot this time around and boy, it really works for her. She has picked a great selection of blues classics and it really sounds hot. It is recorded on a studer multi track tape recorder and it is a great ,warm analog recording. There is great blues guitar, blues harp and it sounds like she is enjoying herself singing these songs. Osborne has a voice that is unique and she knows how to use it. I love the Digipak album cover, very nice picture of her face on front.

   The CD starts out with a hot reading of "I Don't Need No Doctor", this works well, then she breaks into a slower groove on the cover track, "Bring It On Home". "I'm Qualified" is a great song with some neat background vocals. Her co-producer and herself have put out a real work of art here. Jack Petruzzelli is the co-producer and also a guitar player on the CD. "Champagne and Wine" is a sensuous, love,bluesy tune with some killer guitar fades.

   Joan has come out cooking and maintains a good groove thru out the disc. The musicians and singers nail most of the songs on a couple of takes. This is something that you need to check out if you are a blues fan or an Osborne fan. Real nice booklet with some quotes from Joan about the songs she has picked. It has some great pics too. Look for it around March 27,2012.

www.joanosborne.com
www.saguaroroadrecords.com
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