Over at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass at Country Standard Time, I reflect on my weekend at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. I had a great time, but there were too many acts that presented style over substance, in my opinion, and not nearly enough bluegrass. Click for my thoughts.
Jason Barie Pieces Billy Blue Records We’ve had some pretty good bluegrass releases this year. Albums from Big Country Bluegrass, Dale Ann Bradley, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, The Grascals, and Larry Sparks rank with the best of their distinguished careers, while discs from Deanie Richardson, Gena Britt, Louisa Branscomb, and the Po’ Ramblin’… Continue reading Jason Barie- Pieces review
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Live in Prague Billy Blue Records Doyle Lawson turned 75 this year. When we think about pioneers of bluegrass, Doyle Lawson’s name isn’t usually mentioned, coming as he did as a ‘second-wave’ performer. But the guy has been around, and more than just about anyone raised the expectations for bluegrass gospel.… Continue reading Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver- Live in Prague review
The Grascals Straighten the Curves Mountain Home Music Company The International Bluegrass Music Association handed out its awards this past week, and while I didn’t pay attention as the awards were handed out, as I typically would, I did take interest in the results. The first thing that grabbed my attention was that our (Alberta’s)… Continue reading The Grascals- Straighten the Curves review
Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys Lord Help Me Find the Way Stanley Family Records Ralph2.com It took me years to warm to Ralph Stanley II, unfairly I’m not afraid to admit. I think I had read something negative during the heyday of bluegrass message boards, and the impression stuck. Once I started… Continue reading Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys- Lord Help Me Find the Way review
LaTresa & The Signal- The Blood and The River BoonDog Records LaTresa.com An Alabamian who has long resided in Nashville, LeTresa Smith has been around country and bluegrass music professionally for a couple decades, and her album of several years ago—Love, Babies, Jesus, and Sweet Potato Pie…—was a Fervor Coulee favourite. Eight years later, LaTresa… Continue reading LaTresa & The Signal- The Blood and The River review
My review of The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys’ new one, out on Rounder Records, is up at Exclaim! It is called Toil,Tears, & Trouble, and it is pretty fine. Here’s “Ice on the Timbers,” a song from the deep Cedar Hill catalogue: