New Releases December 2014

KATHY BOYD & PHOENIX RISING—SPENDING EVERY CHRISTMAS WITH YOU—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

CHRIS COOLE AND IVAN ROSENBERG—RETURN TO TRION—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

CROWE BROTHERS—FORTY YEARS OLD—Mountain Fever  Records MFR141028 (compact disc)

DAVIS BRADLEY—CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

ENCOURAGERS I: FINDING THE LIGHT—BY RANDALL FRANKS—Peach Picked Publishing 9780984910816 (book)

DONNA HUGHES—FROM THE HEART—Running Dog Records RDR03 (compact disc)

HUNT BROTHERS—GAME 7—Rock Springs Records RSR007 (compact disc)

CHRIS JONES AND THE NIGHT DRIVERS—LIVE AT THE OLD FEED STORE—GSM Records GSM 103 (compact disc)

MARTEKA AND WILLIAM—THE SOUNDS OF A TRADITION—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

OLD-TIME BANJO BOOK—BY ART ROSENBAUM—Mel Bay 9780786686025 (book/DVD)

KEVIN PRATER BAND—WERE YOU THERE—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

RED JUNE—ANCIENT DREAMS—Organic Records OR15292 (compact disc)

CAROLINA ROSE AND FRIENDS—ON MY LONG JOURNEY HOME—Thunderbolt Records TB 2012 (compact disc)

SAVAGE FIDDLER METHOD BOOK AND ONLINE LESSON METHOD—BY ANNIE SAVAGE (book)

SONGWRITING STRATEGIES: A 360° APPROACH—BY MARK SIMOS—Berklee Press 9780876391518 (book)

LARRY STEPHENSON BAND—PULL YOUR SAVIOR IN —Whysper Dream Music 742629 (compact disc)

BILLY STRINGS & DON JULIN—FIDDLE TUNE X—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

WAYNE TAYLOR—MOVIN’ ON—Raincoe Music RM-07012014 (compact disc)

TRAYNHAM FAMILY—MERRY MOUNTAIN HOEDOWN—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

TURNING GROUND—CELL OF MINE—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

JOHNNY WILLIAMS—GOING MY WAY—Mountain Roads Recordings MRR-1021 (compact disc)

WHITTLIN’ AND FIDDLIN’ MY OWN WAY—BY VIOLET HENSLEY WITH RANDALL FRANKS—Peach Picked Publishing 9780984910823 (book)

Additional Releases

ALEX RIFFLE & THE STIFF-RIFFS—THESE DAYS—No Label, No Number. This Missouri-based band has produced an interesting project from a variety of sources. Songs from artists such as Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Muddy Waters, David Grisman, Larry Sparks, Tom Petty, Bruce Hornsby, and Jackson Browne are all arranged within traditional bluegrass instrumentation. The band includes leader Alex Riffle (banjo), Doug Kennedy (bass), Larry Light (guitar), Steve Walsh (mandolin), Billy Watkins (resonator guitar, guitar), and Bobby Lewis (fiddle). Some songs are familiar to bluegrass fans, such as “Old Train,” “These Old Blues,” “White House Blues,” “E.M.D.,” and “Carolina In The Pines,” others more in the rock genre like “Well All Right,” “Rollin’ & Tumblin’,” “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “The Way It Is,” and “Friend Of The Devil.” Instrumentally, the band is quite good, and they do a pretty good job at arrangements of the rock material. Lead vocals are shared and their harmonies are good. This is an overall pleasant project. (Steve Walsh, 635 N. Main St., Poplar Bluff, MO 63901.)

MARK LAVENGOOD—NO PART OF NOTHIN—No Label, No Number. Mark Lavengood is a member of Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys. He is a very good resonator guitarist and this project demonstrates his skills quite well. The session includes other members of the band plus members of Melody Walker’s Front Country. Other artists who help out include Billy Strings, Ben Rolston, P.J. George, Sam Cooper, Jen Sygit, Reese Call, John Brakefield, and Joe Wilson. The project is a mix of traditional and original tunes, many penned by Lavengood. The CD kicks off with “Bluegrass Is,” a quirky poetic treatment set to music which slides into a jam-grassy original “Sliding Rock.” Familiar tunes include “Devil’s Dream,” “The Methodist Preacher,” “Molly & Tenbrooks,” “Ol’ Dangerfield,” and “Single Girl, Married Girl.” Some of Lavengood’s tunes include “Brenda Lee” about his mom, “Centennial Stomp,” “Dust From Dust,” and “Friendship In Flight.” There is also a medley arrangement of a Jerry Douglas tune with a Bela Fleck tune called “Fur Flex ‘N Fleck,” and the CD ends with a reprise of “Bluegrass Is.” This is a good project showcasing Lavengood’s playing as well as the other musicians on the session. (Mark Lavengood, 4976 7 Mile Rd. NE, Belmont, MI 49306, www.marklavengood.com.)

DIRT CREEK BAND—OLD RED FIDDLE—No Label, No Number. Dirt Creek Band hails from the Piedmont area of North Carolina and consists of Pat Wingo (banjo), Sue Thornton (guitar), Leonard McPherson (mandolin), John Whitley (bass), and Arp Ennis (fiddle). Together since 1978, the group’s latest project brings together old and new tunes from their repertoire, some originals and some familiar. Originals include “Red Dirt And Pine Trees” about the Piedmont region, “Old Red Fiddle” (an instrumental history), the gospel “Make Sure,” and “Peaceful Noise,” a reflection of home. Other tunes include Kenny Baker’s “Doc Harris The Fisherman,” Si Kahn’s “Wild Rose Of The Mountains,” the familiar “Oh, Susanna” and “Make Me A Pallet,” and instrumentals “Sledd Ride” and “Peaches And Cream.” This new CD is a pleasant sampling of the band’s long history together and should please their fans. (Dirt Creek Band Music, 7923 Sandestin Ln., Stanley, NC 28164, www.dirtcreekband.com.)

Comps and Reissues

LARRY RICE—IF YOU ONLY KNEW: THE BEST OF LARRY RICE—Rebel Records REB-CD-7534. 16 cuts from various Rebel albums including Hurricanes And Daydreams. Songs include “Plastic People Town,” “Rainy Day People,” and “Four Wheel Drive.” Musicians include Tony and Wyatt Rice, Rickie and Ronnie Simpkins, and Frank Poindexter. (Rebel Records, P.O. Box 7405, Charlottesville, VA 22906, www.rebelrecords.com.)