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.
Tennessee Moon is the January 13, 2017 release by Missouri native who moved to Nashville singer-songwriter Ray Cardwell on the Pinecastle Records label. This member of The Cardwell Family Bluegrass Band, from the Missouri Ozarks, shows his songwriting talent as this album features original music that honors traditional bluegrass, but adds a completely unique and contemporary twist with Ray Cardwell on bass and lead and harmony vocals, Pat Flynn on guitar and vocals, Danny Roberts and Jesse McReynolds on mandolin, Scott Vestal on banjo, Rob Ickes on guitar, Andy Leftwich on fiddle, plus John Cowan, Claire Lynch, Ronnie Bowman, Scott Russell, Eric Morris, and Brad Reside on vocals. This twelve track album features such great original tracks as the title track Tennessee Moon, Stop Look And Listen, Cedar Creek Pickaway, Think About Me and so much more. I was impressed with Ray’s vocal style and songwriting abilities as well as how this album was recorded, performed and produced. This album is a must for any bluegrass fan. Please take a listen to this album on Spotify and then you will want to own your own copy from Amazon, Itunes, Pinecastle Records and other outlets where CDs and digital downloads are sold. You can also learn more about this artist, his tour schedule and more by going to his website http://raycardwell.com
Stand On My Own is the sophomore album by bluegrass singer/songwriter Ray Cardwell released May 24, 2019, on the Bonfire Recording Company label. This impressive album features twelve tracks with demonstrates Ray’s songwriting and performing style with such great tracks as Time To Drive, Hurricane Rain, Sinners And Saints, Jump Back Jane, Alright, the title track Stand On My Own and so much more. I was impressed with his vocal performance and how he can keep my foot tapping as well as how well this album was written, recorded and produced. If you are a bluegrass fan as I am, you will want to get your own copy of this fine album from Amazon, Bandcamp, Itunes and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold. You can learn more about the album, his tour schedule and more by visiting Ray Cardwell’s official website http://www.raycardwell.com
Back To The Country is the June 12, 2109 album of 12 tracks, including a combination of covers, along with all-new music written by the band Merle Monroe released on the Pinecastle Records label. This great band consists of Tim Raybon on guitar, bass and vocals, Daniel Grindstaff on banjo and vocals, Jayd Raines on vocals, Joss Doss on guitar, Stephen Burwell on fiddle, Eli Johnston on bass and guitar, Nick Chandler on mandolin, Gary Hullman on dobro and Jason Burleson on mandolin. This album features two Merle Haggard classics Movin’ On and Hungry Eyes, a Roger Miller composition This Town, and such originals as Dad, Whippoorwill, Singing Crazy (Like Patsy Cline) and much more. I was quite impressed with songwriting on this album as well as a great performance. This album was also well recorded and produced. I am looking forward to hearing more from this band. This album is available from Amazon, Discogs, Pinecastle Music and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold. You can learn more about this band by going to their website https://merlemonroeband.com
For my 1269th review, I proud to present the November 7, 2017 album Walking In Tall Grass by Marion Halliday, and her band Trickster Sister, a proud purveyor of their own special blend of original, women-powered urban Americana music. The band is comprised of two sisters, Marion Halliday on guitar, vocals and songwriting and Jane Halliday on violin, banjo uke, and vocals, and their sister-in-music, Donna Bostock on bass, percussion, and vocals. Joining them as guest instrumentalists are Jim Salamone on drums and percussion, Brad Hinton on lap steel, John Short on electric guitar and Cathleen Stephen on flute. This six-track album features great vocals and harmonies as well as great instrumentation on such songs as Can’t Change The Truth, Lost Things, the title track Walking In Tall Grass and much more. I was very impressed with how well this album was recorded, produced, written and performed. This is an album you would want to add to your Americana/Bluegrass library and is available on CD and digital download from Bandcamp, CD Baby, Itunes, and many other outlets.
Facets Of Folk is the third album Mara Levine released January 1, 2019, on the Mara’s Creations Records label. This album reminiscent of her inspirations Judy Collins and Joan Baez brings folk and bluegrass music to live with such great tracks as Daughters And Sons, Hey That’s No Way To Say Goodbye, A Perfect Rose, Child Of Mine, Bitter Green, Song For The Asking and much more. I was impressed with the vocals, harmonies, and performance as well as how well it was recorded and produced. I am looking forward to hearing her earlier work as well as her work in the future. This release is available on CD and digital download from CD Baby, her website maralevine.com and other music outlets. You can learn more about this artist by going to her website https://maralevine.com
Rings Around Saturn is the debut solo album by Marion Halliday, a Kentucky native transplanted to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who showcases her own special blend of bluegrass and bourbon infused original woman powered Americana. On this eleven track album which will be released on July 1, 2019, Marian plays solo as well as doing tracks with her band Trickster Sister comprising of Jane Halliday on fiddle and Donna Bostock on bass, plus many guest artist playing on several tracks. Marion shows her songwriting ability by writing all the tracks on this album and her great voice and amazing harmonies on such tracks as the title track Rings Around Saturn, Bourbon And Men, Still Burning, Sorry (which has a FCC warning due to two cuss words, a lot less than a lot of songs I have heard LOL), We Are The Change (Live) and much more. I was very impressed with how well this album was recorded, performed, produced and written. You will be able to get your copy of this album on CD and digital download on July 1st from Bandcamp, CD Baby, Itunes, and other music outlets.
Chronicle: Friends and Music is the upcoming solo album by Bluegrass artist and member of all-female band Sister Sadie Gena Britt to be released July 12, 2019, on the Pinecastle Records label. This thirteen track album features guest artists that I have reviewed previously on various albums such as Dale Ann Bradley’s vocal contribution to the track, You Don’t Get Over That, fellow Sister Sadie member and vocalist Tina Adair also joins Britt on four of the recordings, singing tenor and high baritone, and Deanie Richardson also contributed via fiddle on five of the tracks. Some of my favorite tracks on the album are Over And Over, classic Bill Monroe track, On and On, Soldiers Lament, Traveling Poor Boy and much more. This is a great album to add to your Bluegrass library as it was well performed, recorded and produced. You will be able to pick up your copy of this album on July 12th from Amazon, Pinecastle Music, and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.