There have been many albums recorded over the years by sidemen and women, some that were great and some that let you know why the headliners are the headliners. I have to admit, I wasn’t all that familiar with Matt Wallace before listening to the CD. I knew of him from his current work as bassist with Mark Newton and Steve Thomas, but that’s about the extent.
Wallace’s new album For A Season, however, is nothing short of a breath of fresh air. I love it when a project that doesn’t have a big budget works, and this is a perfect example. Wallace plays bass throughout, but he also lends his solid lead singing voice to the song “Old Man Winter” and a wonderful cut written by John Douglas Meyer called “Home In Tennessee.” But, Wallace also happily gives up the lead vocalist chair to others on this project. Jesse Gregory reminds us of her wonderful vocal abilities on “Creepin’ In” and “Lonesome Homesick Blues,” Wayne Taylor takes the mic on “Have You Come To Say Goodbye,” Jerry Cole sings “Got Leavin’ On Your Mind,” and the great voice of Paul Brewster powers “Long Gone.”
The house band on this project is rock-solid as Wallace is backed up on every cut by Darrell Webb on guitar, Tim Crouch on fiddle, Alex Hibbits on mandolin, Josh Hymer on banjo, and Jeff Partin on resonator guitar. Carl White also adds tenor vocals on “I Want To Know More About My Lord.” All of this comes together under the vision and leadership of Wallace who produced this recording. (www.mattwallacemusic.com)DH