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.      


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!

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