Marty Hays secured his name in bluegrass by singing and playing bass with David Davis & the Warrior River Boys. This album shows off his strong clear voice in a program of bluegrass and country songs. From a song taken from Dock Boggs, “Red Rocking Chair,” to some straight-up true country music like “Arkansas,” a great reading of “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down,” and “Deep Water” on to the well-worn bluegrass favorite “Bringing Mary Home,” Hays gets into the lyrics and really sells each song. There are some great moments such as his readings of Dan Fogelberg’s “Leader Of The Band” and John Hartford’s adaptation of a fiddle tune to a song for the title cut.
The backing musicians are first-rate professionals. Robert Montgomery provides some great traditional bluegrass banjo and guitar. Ben Sanders shines on fiddle capturing a Tommy Jackson/Buddy Spicher vibe with multi-tracked fiddles. Hays plays guitar and bass throughout the project. This program is rich in sounds of the past. It successfully showcases a splendid singer and multi-talented musician as he and his cohorts bring great sounds of the past into the present with class and real style. Highly recommended to those who like real country music. (Chad Hays, 119 Westport Dr., Salem, IL 62881.)RCB