Friday, December 19, 2014

Album Review: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers - Live At The Old Feed Store

I realized this morning that I've been listening to the newest release from Chris Jones & the Night Drivers - Live At the Old Feedstore for about over two months now and failed to publish anything about it. Needless to say, I've been enjoying this Bluegrass album, the Night Drivers are an extremely tight band: Jones, banjo man Ned Luberecki, bassist Jon Weisberger, and mandolinist Mark Stoffel. Like me, many of you are familiar with Jones and Luberecki from SiriusXM Radio's Bluegrass Junction. Weisberger was recipient of the IBMA's first Songwriter of the Year in 2012 and Stoffel is an outstanding . The album starts with an ode to the Stanley Brothers "Bound to Ride" and an original - "Like a Hawk". Luberecki's banjo heats up in "Emergency Pulloff" and closes the album out with "Pike County Breakdown". You'll be clapping along with the audience. My favorite track is Then I Close My Eyes with accompanying harmonies from 2013 IBMA Momentum Vocalist of the Year Emily Bankester. "Lonely Town" and George Jones "I Cried Myself Awake" are a close second. And even The Sound Of Music’s "Edelweiss" gets a play. Pair with Woodbury Tennessee's (home of the Old Feed Store) Short Mountain Distillery. Cheers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Album Review: Norman Blake - Wood, Wire & Words

Hopefully readers are familiar with folk legend Norman Blake. At the very least you are familiar with his projects with the Johnny Cash Show, Kris Kristofferson, Dylan's Nashville Skyline, John Hartford's Aereo-Plain, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will the Circle Be Unbroken, or O Brother, Where Art Thou?.  Well, he's out with a solo acoustic album titled Wood, Wire & Words - just Blake and his guitar with one harmony from his wife Nancy.  The album is his first release of original material in 30 years and consists of outlaw and old time folk songs. In many instances Blake gives a brief introduction on the song's background as in a live performance. My favorites are the rags, just Blake picking his guitar.  Every song chronicles a piece of history so for those who like to remember and honor the past, this release is for you. Coming January 20th on Plectrafone Records. Cheers.