“The Country Side Of Bluegrass” – Janie Fricke – A Review
Thirty years ago, Janie Fricke would have been a household name in country radio. Now she is singing an excellent bluegrass style produced by Bill Vorndick,popular Nashville bluegrass producer, has produced a lot of Rhonda Vincent CDs. This set is a mix of some of her old hits and some other popular tunes. This mix has a real refreshing sound. Johnny Hiland sounds great playing acoustic guitar, he’s a legend of a Nashville picker. His acoustic playing is so fluid, reminds me a bit of Tony Rice. He has some excellent company with David Talbot on banjo, Randy Kohrs on dobro, Andy Leftwich on fiddle, Glen Duncan and Jimmmy Mattingly on mandolin and fiddle. Then, we have Chip Davis, Margie Cates and Judy Rodman on background vocals. Mark Fain on bass and Bob Mater on drums keep the bottom line. Interesting, but, back in the day, Hiland was playing on her records.
The Roys are now touring with Janie. My Favorite song on the disc is “Faithless Love” (J.D. Souther), which is a standard made popular by Linda Ronstadt in the Seventies. The Roys back her up on it on the show. It is a very beautiful version. This is sort of a sad Heartbreak song.
“He’s A Heartache” (J.Silbar/L. Henley) – This was Fricke’s third number one hit. It is a real upbeat toe tapper. It has more of Hiland’s smooth guitar pickin’. I really like this version.
“Please Help Me, I’m Falling(In love with you) (Blair/Robertson) – This is an old time country song that Janie did on the opry many times, nice country tune.
“Down To My Last Broken Heart” (C. Rains) – I like this popular song done in a bluegrass style. Ricky Skaggs sang harmony on the original version.
“I’ll need Someone to Hold me (When I Cry)” (Holyfield/Mcdill) – is a great song with a great message, the writer ,Bob Mcdill was popular in 1980 when this was released. She has always liked to do this song live.
“Ring Of Fire” -(June Carter Cash) – This is an iconic country song, Fricke really does it justice, In case you are not familiar with it, it was made popular by Johnny Cash and The Carter Family. Really nice guitar riffs by Hiland, just a splendid version.
This is definitely a CD to buy, if you are a fan of country and bluegrass, Splendid! Buy it at her site.