New Releases – January 2015

BROTHERS BARTON—NEW LOVE—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

KYLE CAREY—NORTH STAR—Americelta Records ACR 102 (compact disc)

RUSS CARSON—AVENUE OF THE GIANTS—Patuxent Music CD-256 (compact disc)

LEONARD HOLLIFIELD—A GENTLE SOUTHERN WIND—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER—IN SESSION—Mountain Home MH15732 (compact disc)

CLAIRE LYNCH BAND—HOLIDAY!—Thrill Hill Records, No Number (compact disc)

MISTY MOUNTAIN STRING BAND—BROWNSBORO—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

Additional Releases

THE VIRGINIA RAMBLERS—THEY’RE HOLDING UP THE LADDER—No Label, No Number. This group from Madison, Va., has produced a solid all-gospel project featuring good arrangements, nice lead vocals, and tight harmonies. The band consists of Charles Frazier (guitar), Troy Gooding (mandolin), Donnie Shifflett (bass), and Tom Hogge (banjo), along with guest Richard Will (fiddle). The project was recorded at Blue Ridge Recording Studio in Waynesboro, Va., which, at one time, housed the Major Recording Studio of the 1970s. Two of the selections here were taken as tribute to the band East Virginia for their original songs “Temptation’s Pathway” and “We’ll Go To Live With Jesus.” The title-cut, “They’re Holding Up The Ladder,” is from the Easter Brothers. Other selections include Jimmy Fortune’s “I Believe,” Lester Flatt’s “Get In Line Brother,” the Stanleys’ “Lonely Tombs,” and Jimmy Martin’s “Voice Of My Savior.” Familiar offerings are “Waltz Of The Angels,” I’ll Wear A White Robe,” and “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” Also included is bassist Donnie Shifflett’s original tune “God’s Grace.” This is a nice addition to anyone’s gospel collection. (Virginia Ramblers, 83 Village Dr., Madison, VA 22727, www.virginiaramblers.com.)

THE EPHEMERAL STRING BAND WITH TATIANA HARGREAVES—LAND OF REST. No Label, No Number. Aficionados of old-time music should appreciate this new release from the New England-based group. The Ephemeral String Band is Molly Merrett (guitar, banjo, fiddle), Maggie Shar (banjo), Tim Dolan (mandolin, guitar), and special guest here is Tatiana Hargreaves (fiddle). Pulling from string band, country, gospel, shape-note, and bluegrass sources, the band has put together an enticing project of well-executed playing and vocal harmonies. Source material from Charlie Acuff, the Five Blind Boys From Alabama, Peter Rowan, Dirk Powell, the Skillet Lickers, Jimmy Martin, and Clive Davenport are sprinkled throughout the project in a mix of hot-tempo instrumentals, mournful ballads, and gospel. Selections include “Stormy Waters,” “Ruby Ridge,” “Midnight,” “Weeping Away,” “Sally Coming Through The Rye,” and “Hell Broke Loose In Georgia.” Molly Merrett contributes two originals “Drown” and “The Night.” Nicely done for this young group. (Ephemeral String Band, 3 Mutter St., Easthampton, MA 01207, www.ephemeralstringband.com.)

TRAVIS FRYE & BLUE MOUNTAIN—LIVING IN A MOMENT—Kindred Records KR14001. From North Carolina comes this very nice mix of new material with some familiar tunes. Blue Mountain is Travis Frye (guitar), Tim Frye (mandolin), Henry Mabe (fiddle), Hunter Motts (banjo), and Renee Martin (bass). Guest vocalist is Rebecca Jones. Listeners may recognize Kenny Baker’s “Spider Bit The Baby,” Albert Brumley’s “Turn Your Radio On,” Cowboy Copas’ “Settin’ Flat On Ready,” and Lefty Frizzell’s “Bandy The Rodeo Clown.” Both Fryes contribute original tunes that include “Rambler’s Blues,” “There’s A River,” “Hills Of Carolina,” “Grass Fire,” and “Those Trains Don’t Run Anymore.” The band plays regularly in their area at festivals, concerts, and radio performances and have also performed on the Song Of The Mountains television program. The band’s arrangements are well-crafted and the vocals and instrumental picking are quite good. (Kindred Records, 65 Scott Hill Rd., Irvine, KY, 40336, www.kindredrecords.com.)

THE OLY MOUNTAIN BOYS—WHITE HORSE—No Label, No Number. The group from Olympia, Wash., has produced an interesting concept project that chronicles the life of an early twentieth-century character named Charlie McCarver from the fictitious Cascades area of Whitehorse. The band consists of Tye Menser (banjo, piano), Derek McSwain (mandolin), Chris Rutledge (guitar), Phil Post (bass, resonator guitar, steel), and Josh Grice (fiddle). Guests include Dan Spencer (harmonica) and Emma Staake (vocals). This album of completely original material (mostly written by Menser) is set in three parts, with the first introducing the listener to McCarver, his wife, and family. The second part is the collapse of his family and his own breakdown, and the third part covers Charlie’s memories, regrets, and dealing with age and death. One must almost have to listen from beginning to end to maintain the flow and feel of the story, rather than just picking out a selection or two. The project comes in an attractive box with a 68-page booklet and artwork. (Oly Mountain Boys, 65 Stronghold Ln, Lopez Island, WA 98261, www.olymountainboys.com.)