Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Homecoming, The Bluegrass Album" - Joe Diffie - A review

Joe Diffie has spent most of his career singing popular country music. Diffie's vocals sound as good or better than I expected, He does have a good set of pipes.

He sings mostly covers written by Nashville's best and even one by Otis Redding. The musicians read like a who's who of Bluegrass music.

The Grascals back him up on a song that he wrote "Rainin on A Rubber Dolly Now". This is a cohesive track and upbeat, one of the best bluegrass sounding songs on the disc.

"Route 5,Box 109" is my favorite, great song about family and Joe does a good job with this (Galen Griffin and Kerry Phillips) song.

Really, there is not a bad song on this disc, and the list of backup singers is nothing short of incredible. Diffie really puts himself into thes songs, though whether they sound more country or bluegrass is left up in the air, A dobro does not make A CD Bluegrass. I realize that entertainment is the whole end of an album and this is well done, not a cheap production done in a cheap project studio.


What kinda bothers me is the instruments are recorded in one studio and the vocals in another, so the recording is sort of Karaoke style. Instruments recorded in Oceanway studios and vocals recorded at Station West studio. Mostly all recorded, mixed and mastered by Luke Wooten, while Joe helps with production. The product is very polished, though it sounds a bit bright on one of my CD players.

A special treat is the playing of banjo by Kristen Scott on the Grascals track. This gal is easily one of the best banjo pickers going today, and still pretty young. "Fit For A King" (Carl Jackson,Jim Rushing) is a very good gospel, story song.

Only song I did not like was Diffie's "Til Death" - too graphic for me. Overall, this a good listen for country and Bluegrass fans.

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