Over at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass, I’ve posted a new edition of Gold…In A Way, my once-in-a-long-while, but-still-semi-regular feature that takes a look back at an album I enjoyed at some point in the past twenty years.
Today, while doing some research on early-80s bluegrass bands, I came across The Circuit Riders’ album Let the Ride Begin, released in late 2006. The album is available digitally and at online retailers- this is the band formed by former members of The Country Gentlemen, and has nothing to do with the group of the same name that recorded in the ’90s or since.
I most likely hadn’t listened to the album since it was released, but had positive memories of it. Listening to the disc today, I appreciate the recording all the more.
My piece can be located HERE.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald
Gold…In A Way is an opportunity for me to occasionally re-examine a bluegrass album that I believe deserves a second listen. This time out I look at David Parmley & Continental Divide’s 2009 album Three Silver Dollars. Featuring a title cut from Tom T. Hall and outstanding playing from Parmley, Dale Perry, Ron Spears, Ron Stewart, and Kyle Perkins, this was without doubt one of the finest albums of 2009. It stands up five years later. This link will get you over to Fervor Coulee Bluegrass, where the piece is published.
Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald @FervorCoulee
I’ve revised my piece from seven years ago about “The Mountain,” the album recorded by Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band and released in 1999. It is posted over at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass at http://www.countrystandardtime.com/blog/FervorCouleeBluegrass/entry.asp?xid=927. Hopefully you find it worth the read.
Over at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass, I’ve posted a new edition of “Gold…In A Way,” an ongoing series where I re-examine albums that I believe deserve another listen. This time out, Bobby O & Try A Little Kindness, his 2006 Rounder album that relaunched his bluegrass pursuits. http://www.countrystandardtime.com/blog/FervorCouleeBluegrass/entry.asp?xid=916 will get you there. As always, thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald
Over at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass, I’ve posted my 2003/2004 piece about the Doc Watson-David Holt album Legacy. I’m listening to it tonight and thinking of Doc. As I type, Doc is recollecting his early memories of his beloved Rosa Lee. It is a wonderful recording, and appropriate listening on this day. http://www.countrystandardtime.com/blog/FervorCouleeBluegrass/entry.asp?xid=889 will get you there- I retyped the piece this evening, fixing only typos and a couple awkward phrases.
Dammit. If you are not familiar with Wayne Scott, you should be. He was the father of Darrell and was possibly the biggest musical influence on Darrell Scott. He debut album, which was released when he was into his 70s, was and is a masterful production. I spoke to Darrell once about his father and he detailed how important his father’s love for music- how his environment was saturated with country music- was in fueling a passion for picking, singing and songwriting. Wayne Scott died this week in Kentucky following a car accident. News clip at http://www.wbir.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1283901815001&odyssey=mod|tvideo|article
In the wake of the release of This Weary Way in 2005, I caught a great, understated set by Wayne Scott at IBMA. It was a pleasure to witness and if my failing memory serves, Guy Clark joined Wayne and Darrell on stage. My review of This Weary Way from 2005 is posted below- Gold In A Way:
Wayne Scott This Weary Way Full Light Records Review written for Bluegrass Now- slight revisions
Few artists are recording at age 71 with fewer making their recording debut at this age, but that is how the press bio of Wayne Scott, father of respected roots songwriter and musician Darrell (who appears throughout this delightful recording,) begins. Not a bluegrass album in any way, the disc is nonetheless of interest to the bluegrass community not only because of his son’s recent involvement with Tim O’Brien and others, but also because of the pedigree of those musicians charged with bringing to fruition Scott’s musical dream.
Names familiar to all fans of Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien- including Dirk Powell, Kenny Malone, Dennis Crouch, and Casey Driesen- make multiple instrumental appearances, while O’Brien contributes both harmony vocals and a smattering of mandolin. Among the other musical guests is the legendary Guy Clark, dueting with Wayne Scott on the album’s lead track, “It’s The Whiskey That Eases The Pain;” frequent Clark collaborators Verlon Thompson and Suzi Ragsdale also drop in on the proceedings.
With such an impressive list of participants, one is assured of a quality production; what may be surprising to the uninitiated is the quality of the senior Scott’s lyrics, melodies, and voice.
Best known within bluegrass circles as co-writer (with Darrell) of Mountain Heart’s popular “With A Memory Like Mine,” Wayne Scott’s talents have frequently been cited by Darrell in live performance and print. Comprised of 11 powerfully written originals and a pair of familiar covers, This Weary Way fulfils the son’s dream of bringing his father’s talents to the wider music community. If John Stewart and Billy Joe Shaver albums are in your collection, This Weary Way will also likely become a favorite.
With half the performances living room takes of relaxed familiarity, the reflective and regret-filled “Sunday With My Son,” “It’s The Whiskey That Eases The Pain,” and “In The Mountains,” which does have a bit of a bluegrass vibe to it, serve as three highlights within a collection of inspired writing, musicianship, and singing. Well worth searching out.
My review of Junior Sisk’s outstanding new album has (finally<g>) been posted to the Lonesome Road Review site: http://lonesomeroadreview.com/2011/10/23/the-heart-of-a-song-by-junior-sisk-ramblers-choice/ will get you there. Additionally, I’ve decided to start posting reviews of older albums whenever something is relevant to a new release. In this case, a reviews written several years ago that involved Junior Sisk; for whatever digital file misplacement, I can’t my more recent reviews of Junior Sisk albums.
BlueRidge Side By Side Sugar Hill
Last year, by rough estimate, I was fortunate to catch about 50 bluegrass bands in
concert, ranging from regional heroes to living legends. No band collectively impressed me more than BlueRidge. BlueRidge is a band that does its best to combine the traditions established by Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers with the contemporary approach taken by bands such as IIIrd Tyme Out and Blue Highway.
With Alan Bibey’s mandolin providing the melodic heart of their sound, on this new
release the band successfully embraces the finest elements of bluegrass precision instrumentation, gracefully constructed harmonies, and awe inspiring devotion to the creation of a identifiable banjo-fueled sound. A predominant component of this sound is the voice of Junior Sisk.
It has been said, most recently by Dave Robicheaux, that all real artists seem to disappear into that which they create; therefore, Junior Sisk is an artist of the highest order, as he becomes the words he sings, creating a reality as true as his voice is distinct. Few bluegrass singers capture the country music roots of the genre as effectively as Sisk;
the resulting effortless sound is one that softens some of the music’s harsh edges. Equally impressive is the quality of his songwriting including the ultimate ‘kiss-off’ song, What If (Then I’ll Come Back To You.)
BlueRidge has recaptured the bluegrass power they established on their previous album, Come Along With Me, and Side By Side should be as favourably received.