This has been one of the most prolific years for outstanding record releases. It was very difficult to narrow down my choices; especially for my critic’s pick Top 10 turned into No Depression. As I’ve broken it down in the past, this edition of Liner Notes has three divisions: Male, Female and Duo/Group. After the dust settles, one will be crowned the overall champion. Just like the BCS, I’m splitting hairs at times to determine who…Continue
Hearing accomplished musicians in one genre seamlessly shift into another makes my heart happy because I love a range of music: from jazz to Americana, to pop and R&B. For this reason and more, Missy Raines and the New Hip make my heart swoon with happiness on their latest release New Frontier produced by Raines and fellow band member Ethan Ballinger along with Ben Surratt. The interactions between IBMA…Continue
Added by M. Jae Soleil on November 11, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments
I try and pride myself on going local. Local restaurants. Local beer. Local groceries and produce. So liner notes once again is going local with some home grown Cuyahoga valley bluegrass. You don’t need to travel outside of your radius circle to hear the beautiful three-part harmony blend of Honeybucket. The little band on this side of the Appalachian Trail will be celebrating their 2nd Birthday and the release of a brand new EP on Thursday, October…Continue
Added by Jay Minkin on October 26, 2013 at 8:00am — No Comments
Clinton Gregory was born to sing classic country and bluegrass music. The Martinsville Virginia native took the fiddle on at age five only to master it and play bluegrass festivals one year later at age six. This was the begin of a diverse career for the future recording artist whom earned Music Row Industry's Independent Artist of the Year award for 1992 and 1993. Rockin' The Country, Nobody's Darlin', Made For Lovin' you, She Put the Music In Me, Couldn't Love Have Picked Better…Continue
Added by Jason "Mater" Robinson on October 15, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments
Darin and Brooke Aldridge have put out a CD in my opinion that is refreshing. To quote Jim Lauderdale , he says "Darin and Brooke bring tradition to today and today to tradition". This couple sings so well together, their harmonies are just uncanny. I call this CD a mood changer, I like to listen to it with breakfast, they use different songwriters including their own member Becky Buller.
I'm listening to a song I love called "Trying To Make Clocks Slow Down", by Bill Whyte…Continue
Added by Jim Moulton on October 6, 2013 at 6:30am — No Comments
Songwriters Donna Ulisse and Jerry Salley recently had the opportunity to thank bluegrass icon Del McCoury in person for recording their song "Butler Brothers" on the new Del McCoury Band album The Streets of Baltimore.
The song is a tragic and chilling story of two brothers fighting on different sides…Continue
Added by Kathy Anderson on October 3, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments
It's one thing to be a world class musician, but applying that talent to spontaneous performance in a studio setting is something else entirely. For their second formal collaboration, Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott perform rather than produce - the recordings catch them in the act of making music, rather…Continue
Added by hyperbolium.com on October 2, 2013 at 7:30pm — No Comments
Ricky Skaggs is one of the few iconic figures left in bluegrass music today. Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, and a lot of the founders and keepers of the sound out of the hills of Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina during the 50s and 60s are gone. Ricky's Dad was a guitar player and wanted Ricky to play mandolin. He picked up a Gibson mandolin for Ricky at age 5. At 6 1/2 Ricky got to play mandolin for Bill Monroe. At the age of 7, Ricky got to play in the Skaggs Family Band. His dad…Continue
Added by Jim Moulton on September 23, 2013 at 2:30am — No Comments
This Boston-based quintet sports a traditional string band lineup of guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and bass, and though that adds up to the acoustics of a bluegrass band, their original material is something distinct from that of the typical festival players. The differences likely stem…Continue
Added by hyperbolium.com on August 11, 2013 at 5:30pm — No Comments
Formed in 2000, the five-piece, Michigan-based band that goes by the unlikely moniker of Greensky Bluegrass owes much of its success to its tenure at Telluride Bluegrass. In 2006 the band -- lap steel player Anders Beck, banjo player Michael Arlen Bont, guitarist Dave Bruzza, bassist Michael Devol and mandolin and ukulele player Paul Hoffman -- garnered their first major accolade by winning the festival’s coveted band competition. Four albums and seven years later, they’re still…Continue
Added by Lee Zimmerman on July 23, 2013 at 5:00pm — No Comments
Old Time music is something I'm passionate about. The raw, down and dirty earthbound rootsy sound of the Southern Mountain region holds a special place in my heart. I loved sharing Old Time music with my friends until I was met with the all too typical criticisms of "It sounds too Old."
Here I thought that was the point.
Old Time is a glimpse into America's musical roots of country, blues, folk and gospel...it pre-dates it all. That said I could never really…Continue
Added by Mathew DeRiso on July 7, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments
There are festivals and then there’s Telluride Bluegrass. There, it’s more about the vibe, a natural occurrence that transpires when you gather the loyal hordes – known collectively as Festavarians – at heights of 14,000 feet above sea level within a natural box a mere stone’s throw (or so it seems) from some of the most splendid peaks in the heart of the Rockies.
That feeling of euphoria is evident on arrival, from the sheer beauty of the magnificent surroundings to the obvious…Continue
Oh Sister where have you been?
I have to confess that I’ve actually been aware of Diana Jones for a couple of years now; as she’s a regular visitor to the Jumpin’ Hot Club which I’m a attendee; but as I don’t like ‘Mountain Music’ or Bluegrass I’ve never seen her play.
Oh dear; I’ve made a huge mistake, haven’t I? Sorry, sorry, sorry.
This is the native New Yorker’s 7th album and something of a labour of love. Alongside fellow musicians Matt Combs and…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on June 10, 2013 at 7:00am — No Comments
Clinton Gregory had a run of Top-100 country hits in the early '90s, but both his releases and commercial success became scarce by mid-decade. He returned last year with Too Much Ain't Enough, his first album in…Continue
Added by hyperbolium.com on May 20, 2013 at 6:30pm — No Comments
5th May 2013
I only discovered the Toy Hearts in 2010 when they had a mid-afternoon slot at the Gateshead SummerTyne Festival and it was immediately obvious that not only were the two young sisters who fronted the band easy on the eye; they were excellent musicians too. Subsequently I’ve seen them a further twice and each time the band have been better than the previous visit.
Added by Alan Harrison on May 8, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments
The Roys new single from their upcoming CD is the title track "Gypsy Runaway Train". This is actually a song about their fans and their relationship with them. It is an upbeat song with Lee singing the lead vocals and Elaine wrapping her wonderful harmonies around Lee's vocals. There is some excellent pickin' by members of Ricky Skaggs Kentucky Thunder, who play on about half of the songs on the new CD, Cody Kilby plays some lightning fast guitar…Continue
Added by Jim Moulton on April 29, 2013 at 4:30am — No Comments
This three piece (Ben Plasse - upright bass and banjo; Ian Craft - fiddle and banjo; Jared Green - guitar and harmonica; all three on vocals) performs its mountain bluegrass, Dixieland and late-night blues with a busker's verve. Plasse's bass holds down the rhythmic core on many numbers, but gives way…Continue
Added by hyperbolium.com on April 9, 2013 at 10:39am — No Comments
Taking Coals to Newcastle (or Bluegrass to America in this case)
In my experience Bluegrass and Mountain Music fans can be the most critical of all the Americana genres; demanding authenticity and background knowledge of NASA standards; meaning that anyone tampering with the well worn template can expect criticism to make your hair curl.
If you are one of those people; turn away now because the multi-national Coal Porters have, not quite torn up the rule book…Continue
Added by Alan Harrison on April 6, 2013 at 6:30am — No Comments
Song Brothers Song
Eric and Leigh Gibson have opened up their hearts wide with They Called It Music (Compass Records, 2013), an exquisite album of aching songs recorded at the end of 2012, less than a year after the death of their father. The charging intuitive ensemble rings with lump-in-your-throat truths and Gibson trademark harmonies.
The recording and mixing of the album make me feel like I am standing in the middle of the band: Barber’s…Continue
Mountain Music just got interesting
As I receive so many CD’s through the post these days it’s becoming increasingly difficult to choose which to play first. Regardless of the ‘download generation’ being in the ascendancy, a good cover and packaging will not only catch a reviewer's attention but the casual buyer at concerts and festivals too. With that in mind the cover for the Stray Birds debut album is excellent and would have drawn my gaze to it in a record shop…Continue