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.

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, 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
 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
 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
 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.      

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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Computers, Social Networks, and the lack of Great New Bands and Artists"

 Being a Baby Boomer, I grew up in the Golden Age of American Music. The 60s and 70s brought out a lot of great new artists, genres and music which still shines today on CDs. In the era of  records, you had to be good to get a record deal, because making a good record required a big label studio ,real A and R people and a scene that was incredible in lots of ways.

  In Memphis, you had Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. You had a heavy influence of English musicians starting with the Beatles who propelled rock music to a new level. You had Cream, The Who and The Rolling Stones as iconic groups.

   In Nashville, music row and The Grand Ole Opry was in full flight with artists like Patsy Cline, Chet Atkins, and a thriving business which is alive now, more than ever.

  Artists had something to say or express with their music; the first protest musicians who were not afraid to use music and lyrics as a tool to protest Vietnam War. There was a generation that were not afraid to go against the grain and let their message out. Country Joe and The Fish with "It's 1,2,3 What are we fighting for". It was a time of questioning what was going on and protest and "4 Dead In Ohio" by Crosby,Stills,Nash and Young was a true story song that was a great song in it's own merits.

    They were part of the west coast hippie movement including the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service , Jefferson Airplane and a Spanish guitarist named Carlos Santana. This movement had a life of it's own.

  Meanwhile, Down South, We have the new southern Rock scene with many great bands featuring Lynyrd Skynrd, the Allman Brothers Band and the Marshall Tucker Band. I am just dancing around the periphery here with these groups, there were so many more important bands.

   So, What's going on Today? A lot of the same artists releasing new music from Thirty Years ago. And We have the computer and the vanishing CD. Along the way, We started with Records, to Eight track tapes, cassette tapes (which I still Like), to CDs and now the ipod with it's mp3 format. A generation of young folk who have grown up listening to mp3s, They can't appreciate what the Baby Boomers like myself had ,growing up with full bandwidth analog music. Music will always survive, in what form, that is the Question.

Check Out New Marty Stuart Music

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