Crossing Bridges is the January 18, 2018 album by the Cumming, Georgia band The Dewberries consisting of Paula Jones and John Ragin whose sound is primarily acoustic; a mix of country, bluegrass, folk, and rockabilly…in a word, it is Americana. I first heard their music on an online radio show hosted by Lois High, afterwords, I knew had to hear more from this act with John Ragin on guitars, bass, mandolin, dobro, drums and vocals, Paula Jones on vocals and percussion, Kurt Baumer on fiddle and Mark Van Allen on dobro. This twelve track album features amazing vocals and harmonies, as well as a great backup on such tracks as She, Was Gone Like The Wind, A Sparrow Has To Fly, The Nights Grow Colder, Pickin’ Strings, Restless Wind and so much more. I was quite moved by their songwriting talent, their performance and how this album was recorded. This amazing album is available on CD and digital download from CD Baby, Amazon, Reverbnation, and many other music outlets. I will be reviewing another one of their albums in the coming weeks.
Pinecastle Records released A Very Acoustic Christmas, featuring several of the label’s talented artists on November 7, 2018. Several of these artists I have reviewed some of their great music this past year. This nine-track album features classic and original Christmas tunes with a bluegrass feel such as Angels We Have Heard On High by Ray Cardwell, Oh The Joy Of Christmas by Merle Monroe, the Jim Reeves classic An Old Christmas Card by Sister Sadie bandmates Dale Ann Bradley & Tina Adair, You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch by Tony Wray and so much more. This compilation was well written, performed and recorded. This is the perfect album to add to your Christmas music library. Whether you want this album on CD or digital download, you can find this release from Amazon, Bandcamp, and my other music outlets.
Well known as the longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate, the late West Virginia U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd had another fascinating side: a love of fiddling that he acquired at an early age growing up in the mountains of West Virginia. In 1977, after recording some fiddle tunes for the Library of Congress, the Senator was persuaded to make a commercial recording of some of his music thus the album Mountain Fiddler released in 1978 in vinyl format on the County Records label then on August 3, 2010, this album was released on CD. Joining Senator Byrd on this album are three members of the popular bluegrass band the Country Gentlemen to provide backing for Byrd which is Doyle Lawson on guitar, James Bailey on banjo, and Spider Gilliam on bass fiddle. This twelve track which is now considered a collector’s item features such tracks as Turkey In The Straw, Cripple Creek, Cumberland Gap, Old Joe Clark, Will The Circle Be Unbroken and much more. This release was well performed, recorded and produced and is a great item for your bluegrass library. This album is presently available on Vinyl, CD and digital download from Amazon and many other music outlets.
Pick Yourself Up is the July 6, 2016 sophomore solo album by Los Angeles, California artist Jeff Hyman. He is joined on the album by a large number of guest artists such as Smith Sisters Bluegrass, Tom Pritchard, Grant Maloy Smith, and so many others as this album is a mix of Americana, bluegrass, gospel, jazz, blues and country on such tracks as I’ll Fly Away, Scotch And Soda, Ain’t Hurtin Nobody, a cover of Garth Brooks classic The Dance, the title track Pick Yourself Up (written by Mary K Burke), Hearts Of Palm and much more plus Yellow Moon (featuring Laura Ainsworth). This album with amazing vocals and instrumentation was well performed and recorded. You can get your own copy of this release from Amazon, Bandcamp, CD Baby and other outlets where CDs and digital downloads are sold. You can learn more about this artist and his music by going to his website http://www.jeffhymanmusic.com
Usually, I don’t do these kinds of reviews for another two weeks and this my first review I have done without giving away the title, but I want to tell you about a great song by the Smith Sisters Bluegrass (Title Withheld) song will be released & broadcast worldwide 10/25/2019. I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it and I was quite impressed with the vocals and harmonies by Singing/Songwriting/Sisters Kelli Smith-Lewis & Wendi Smith-Kilman. This song tells a great story and it was well written, recorded and performed. The song is scheduled to be available on all platforms on October 25th and hopes you love this song as much as I did.
With Love is the June 7, 2019 album and my second review for the bluegrass duo Smith Sisters Bluegrass which consists of Singing/Songwriting/Sisters Kelli Smith-Lewis & Wendi Smith-Kilman and is joined Cody Bryant on banjo and mandolin, Michael Kelly on fiddle, Skip Heller on guitar and Nick Omelas on double bass. The Smith Sisters make music that tells beautiful stories that touch your heart with the tracks If You Love Me, Pennies On My Ground, I Could Quit You In A Minute, Face To Face, I Wanna Be A Star In Heaven, and By His Grace. I was quite impressed with the vocals and harmonies on this album as well as their performance and how it was written and recorded. If you are a bluegrass fan as I am, you will definitely want to add this album to your music library. You can pick up your copy on CD and digital download from CD Baby, Amazon, Discogs, and other music outlets. I am looking forward to hearing more from this amazing duo. You can learn more about this duo, their music, tour schedule and more by going to their website https://smithsistersbluegrass.com
After recently celebrating his 55th anniversary as a member of the legendary Grand Ole Opry, Jesse McReynolds is excited to announce his new album, The Bull Mountain Moonshiners’ Way released September 27, 2019, on the Pinecastle Records label. Serving as McReynolds’ first national release in over 9 years, The Bull Mountain Moonshiners’ Way includes 16 songs with amazing line up of friends, each performed similar to the late Matthew McReynolds while he performed at the groundbreaking Bristol Sessions which features such tracks as the solo track The Bull Mountain Moonshiners, Ricketts Hornpipe, Soldier’s Boy, The Girl I Left Behind Me (Johnny Goodwin), Sally Johnson, Chinese Breakdown and so much more. This album was well written, performed and recorded. You can find your copy of this album on Amazon, Pinecastle Records, FYE and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold. To learn more about this artist go to his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JesseLMcReynolds
Good Morning everyone. I am starting my morning with a review of the album Classy, Sassy, Bluegrassy by Nashville based, Williamson Branch, a high energy, high steppin’ show that features a fine-tuned variety of bluegrass, gospel, and country music, accentuated by world-class Appalachian clog dancing. This album is set for release on October 25, 2019, with the Pinecastle Records label. This band features Kevin Williamson on guitar, his wife Debbie Williamson on mandolin and vocals, daughters Melody Williamson on fiddle, Kadence Williamson on ukelele bass, and Caroline Williamson on fiddle plus Anthony Howell on banjo, mandolin, and guitar. This twelve track album features a variety of bluegrass, gospel and country with such songs as Blue Moon Over Texas, The Ballad Of Dan And Tom (Don’t Cry), Over The Mountain, With Body And Soul, Mindy Mae and much more. I was impressed with the performance on this album as well as it’s songwriting and recording. This album is a must for any bluegrass fan and you can get your copy on October 25th from Amazon, their website https://williamsonbranch.com and other music outlets where CDs and digital downloads are sold. You can also go to their website to learn more about this band and their tour schedule.
For my 1389th music review, I am proud to present the September 13, 2019 album Bluegrass Barn by the North Carolina bluegrass band The Garrett Newton Band on the Pinecastle Records label featuring Garrett Newton on Banjo, Parks Icenhour on Lead Guitar and Bass Vocals, Allen Dyer on Rhythm Guitar and Lead Vocals, Lorraine Jordan on Acoustic Bass and Tenor Vocals, Daniel Aldridge on Mandolin and Baritone Vocals, and Chris Hill on Fiddle. This eleven-track album features great picking and harmonies on such tracks as Take Me Home To Momma, the title track Bluegrass Barn, Back To Hancock County, Daybreak In Dixie, The Boys Are Back In Town, Charlotte Breakdown and much more. I was impressed with this great performance as well as how this album was recorded. I highly recommend this album to any bluegrass fan and you can pick up your copy on CD or digital download from Amazon, Itunes, Bandcamp, and many other outlets plus you can learn more about this band and find out where they will be playing near you by going to their website http://garrettnewtonband.com
Memories Of Home is the upcoming album by the bluegrass band The Farm Hands on the Pinecastle Records label consisting of Daryl Mosley on bass and vocals, Tim Graves on reso-guitar, dobro and vocals, Keith Tew on guitar and vocals, Kimberly Bibb on fiddle and Don Hill on banjo and vocals. This twelve track album features such great tracks as I Can’t Go Home Anymore, Home Sweet Home, Stop And Smell The Roses, Southern By The Grace, Mississippi Flood and so much more. I was impressed with how well this album was written, recorded, performed and produced. You will be able to pick up your copy from their website https://www.farmhandsquartet.com and also learn more about this band, their tour schedule, and their music.