New Releases – June 2017

BUCKING MULES—SMOKE BEHIND THE CLOUDS—Free Dirt Records 0082 (compact disc)

LARRY CORDLE—GIVE ME JESUS—MightyCord Records MCR1003 (compact disc)

DOS VALLEY TRIO—JEWELS OF THE SAN JOAQUIN—Mt. Wow Music CD 002 (compact disc)

GALAX BOGTROTTERS—OLD TIME JUBILATIONS—Dittyville Records 008 (compact disc)

CORRINA ROSE LOGSTON & JEREMY STEPHENS—SONGS OF HOME AND INSPIRATION—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

LUCKY JOE’S NAMESAKE: THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE AND OBSERVATIONS OF JOE WILSON—EDITED BY FRED BARTENSTEIN—Univ. of Tenn. Press 9781621903161 (book)

NU-BLU—VAGABONDS—Voxhall Records VHR17001 (compact disc)

MARK OLITSKY & CARY MOSKOVITZ—DUETS—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

BOBBY OSBORNE—ORIGINAL —Compass Records 746872 (compact disc)

CARSON PETERS AND IRON MOUNTAIN—No Label, CPIM001 (compact disc)

ROOTS MUSIC IN AMERICA: COLLECTED WRITINGS OF JOE WILSON—EDITED BY FRED BARTENSTEIN—Univ. of Tenn. Press 9781621903154 (book)

SCROGGINS & ROSE—GRANA—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

EARL SCRUGGS: BANJO ICON—BY GORDON CASTELNERO & DAVID L. RUSSELL—Rowman & Littlefield 9781442268654 (book)

SOUTHERN TRADITION—RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

WEST END STRING BAND—ALL NIGHT LONG—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

REX WISEMAN—WELCOME HOME—Dixie Dawg Records, No Number (compact disc)

ZOE & CLOYD—EYES BRAND NEW—No Label, ZC02 (compact disc)

Additional Releases

BACKWOODS BLUEGRASS BAND—REVIVAL—No Label, No Number. The new project from the Backwoods Bluegrass Band is a gospel collection of mostly familiar tunes and standards. The band is Rusty Collier (bass), Joe East (guitar), Austin Harper (mandolin), Sara McCullough (banjo, guitar), and Aaron Tackett (vocals), along with guest Ron Stewart (fiddle). Stewart also produced, recorded, and mastered the project. Many of the selections on the CD will be well-known to most folks. However, it’s nice to have all these tunes in one collection. Songs include “Let Me Tell You About Jesus,” “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms,” “Another Soldier Down,” “Dancing With The Angels,” “Little Mountain Church House,” “Farther Along,” “Have A Little Talk With Jesus,” “All Prayed Up,” “Get In Line Brother,” “Good Shepherd,” “Cryin’ Holy,” and “I’ll Fly Away.” The band has nice, tight harmonies with highlights including their a capella rendition of “Farther Along,” and a slowed-down version of “I’ll Fly Away.” This is a nice collection for gospel fans. (www.backwoodsbluegrassband.com)

THE CONS OF FORMANT—TRIBUTARIES—No Label, No Number. The accompanying notes for this release states that the band has “established themselves as a core part of the Americana music movement.” While embracing bluegrass instrumentation, the band’s fiddle and mandolin are accented by heavy bass and percussive arrangements. The “Cons” are Drew Morse (mandolin, banjo), Patrick Pipkin (bass, percussion), David Bise (guitar, percussion), and Sam Ellis (fiddle). This project of original material includes “Seven Hollows,” “Back Home,” “Tributaries,” “Looking Back,” “Change The Skies,” “Come On Home,” “Getting By,” “Crumbling,” “Let Me Be,” “The Man I Was,” “Metronome,” “With You,” and “Follow Me.” The quartet is very good and each instrument is featured throughout in lead and support roles, all layered on top of the bass and percussive foundation. Lead and harmony vocals enhance the songs and the band is a cohesive unit in their presentation. The project is packaged in a minimal single-sleeve design which doesn’t allow for much information, so song credits are not included. (www.consofformant.com)

JANE GERMAIN & IAN SIMPSON—HOME ON THE HILL—Squeakywheel Music 003. This banjo duo from the Northwest are Jane Germain (banjo, guitar), and Ian Simpson (banjo, guitar, resonator guitar, bass, stompbox). Guests are Norm Leslie (harmonica), Pete Cornelius (slide guitar, stompbox), and Simon Holmes (bass). Most selections are written by Germain and Simpson with the exception of traditional tunes like “Big-Eyed Rabbit,” “Cluck Old Hen,” “Lulu Girl,” and a medley of “Sleepy-Eyed John”/“Cripple Creek.” There is also the Scott, Rainey, Nober compostion “The Wrath Of God.” Other selections include “Home On The Hill,” “I’ll Meet You On The Outskirts Of Town,” “Grandson Of A Sailor,” “The Girl From Daisy Dell,” “All Aboard The Maglev,” “Too Much Is Not Enough,” and “Little Red Bird.” Germain and Simpson are both adept at three-finger and clawhammer-style banjo, as well as guitar, as their arrangements show. Vocal harmonies are tight, with Germain taking most of the lead. This is a nice project from this Washington area couple. (www.janegermain.com)

WINDY HILL—BLUEGRASS SOUNDS FROM CALIFORNIA—No Label, No Number. Windy Hill features the creative songwriting talents of banjo player Ryan Breen and guitarist Thomas Wille. Others in the band are Andy O’Brien (mandolin), Kyle McCabe (bass), and Alex Sharps (fiddle). Breen’s compositions include “Waiting For You To Come Home,” “Junebug,” “City Slicker Darlin’,” “Pretty Bird,” “Springfield Connection 745,” and the instrumental “Run On Banjo.” Bandmate Wille’s contributions include “Why Do You Do The Things That You Do?,” “Happy Bunnies Jump Up And Down,” “Living Like The Lonely Do,” “Wakefield-Osborne Waltz,” “You Should Ask Me,” “The Wedding Waltz.” The group has maintained a very traditional sound in their writing, arrangements, and delivery. The band is quite popular in their West Coast area, as this young group has shown their appreciation and dedication to the roots of bluegrass music as the album title indicates. (www.windyhillbluegrass.com)