It has been a busy summer- I’ve written quite a few reviews, and done more listening than I likely should have, but I’ve done even more reading: as a result, projects around the home didn’t get accomplished. Neither did writing. (I had planned on working on my short stories/novella this summer. Hmmm…didn’t happen.)
With all the music coming my way, I haven’t found the time/energy to sit down and write about enough of it. Lazy, perhaps- I do normally try to write about 75% of what gets sent to me. (Thanks, PR folks.) I fell short this summer, so today I make the attempt to write that wrong. I’ve also been working at refining my writing, trying to write tighter; working without constraints (or an editor) I’m sometimes not as focused on ‘how’ I am writing. This weekend I decided to concentrate on the quality of my writing, taking time to be more concise in my expression.
Here we go: several reviews of roots music released over these summer months. Hopefully, something leads you to further investigation.
Audie Blaylock & Redline The Road That Winds Patuxent Music
Audie Blaylock & Redline returns with their fifth album in eight years. Like the previous releases, The Road That Winds is a bluegrass album firmly down the dotted, middle line—it holds a steady course without drifting toward the edges, meeting anything in its way head on. Blaylock comes from the Jimmy Martin school, and his music will always be rooted in that tradition. However, over the course of their evolution, the younger members of the group—and obviously, Blaylock, too—have kept their sights on progressing with their music, ensuring they remain relevant as artists and entertainers. It’s straight-ahead bluegrass, but forward looking in execution. Banjoist Evan Ward has returned to Redline, while the impressive Patrick McAvinue continues on fiddle and mandolin. Reed Jones is the bass player, and also contribute four original songs including the inspirational (co-write with Blaylock) “Life Without a Spare” and “The Ties That Bind.” Bob Amos’ “Where the Wild River Rolls,” previously recorded by Hot Rize a quarter century ago and Elton John/Bernie Taupin’s “Daniel” will be familiar to most. As typical of Blaylock albums, this one comes in around 34 minutes; one would think they could have squeezed out another couple songs. Key cuts: those mentioned and “Cousin Sally Brown” and “Ride and Roll.”
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