Since his early years, this Martinsburg, W.Va., native has established himself as one of the finest voices in bluegrass music. He grew up listening to his father’s records by Hank Williams and Reno & Smiley and had an opportunity to see the late Charlie Moore. He has been a member of the late Pudge Warfield’s “Potomac Highland Grass” and Frank Necessary’s “Stone Mountain Boys.” Having grown into a strong lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, he has lent his talents to such as Paul Williams, David Davis, James King, Lynn Morris, and David McLaughlin.
This project is Brannon’s first for Patuxent, with earlier projects on Wango and his own Arden label. For the studio, Brannon gathered together an all-star lineup including Michael Cleveland (fiddles), Lloyd Douglas (banjo, guitar), David McLaughlin (mandolin, guitar), Tracey Rohrbaugh (vocal), Marshall Wilborn (bass), and Patuxent Music’s Tom Mindte (mandolin, vocals). The song selection includes some of Brannon’s favorites from a variety of sources such as Moore & Napier’s “Georgia Bound” and “Dear One,” Don Reno’s “Your Tears Are Just Interest On The Loan” and “Mountain Church,” Hank Williams’ “Singing Waterfall” and “Sing, Sing, Sing,” and Ralph Stanley’s “If I Lose.” Brannon performs wonderful versions of “I Overlooked An Orchid” and the title Jim Eanes classic “Your Old Standby.” His soulful, easy, and relaxed vocal is backed by tight harmonies and stellar instrumentation.
There is no blazing fast bluegrass here, just some nice arrangements over some older standards. It’s good to hear this new effort from Scott Brannon. (Patuxent Music, P.O. Box 572, Rockville, MD 20848, www.pxrec.com.)BF