New Releases – May 2017

DAVE ADKINS TRIO—TURN TO JESUS—Mountain Fever MFR170407 (compact disc)

BACKWOODS BLUEGRASS BAND—REVIVAL—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

ROB BENZING—Patuxent Music CD-296 (compact disc)

CONS OF FORMANT—TRIBUTARIES—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

DAILEY & VINCENT—PATRIOTS & POETS—No Label, BFD087 (compact disc)

TOM EWING—ADVENTURES OF A BLUE GRASS BOY—Patuxent Music CD-295 (compact disc)

FLASHBACK—FOXHOUNDS AND FIDDLES—Pinecastle Records PRC 1206 (compact disc)

FRONT COUNTRY—OTHER LOVE SONGS—Organic Records OR16882 (compact disc)

JANE GERMAIN & IAN SIMPSON—HOME ON THE HILL—Squeaky Wheel Music 003 (compact disc)

MOLLY & TENBROOKS—THE OLD MANDOLIN—No  Label, No Number (compact disc)

GARRETT NEWTON BAND—YOUNG HEART OLD SOUL—Pinecastle Records PRC 1204 (compact disc)

TIM O’BRIEN—WHERE THE RIVER MEETS THE ROAD—Howdy Skies HOW-CD-2017 (compact disc)

SING ME BACK HOME: SOUTHERN ROOTS AND COUNTRY MUSIC—BY BILL C. MALONE—University of Oklahoma Press 9780806155869 (book)

JUNIOR SISK & RAMBLERS CHOICE—THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING ME HOME—Mountain Fever MFR170324 (compact disc)

SO YOU WANT TO SING FOLK MUSIC: A GUIDE FOR PERFORMERS—BY VALERIE MINDEL—Rowman & Littlefield 9781442265615 (book)

VARIOUS ARTISTS—TUNES FROM DAVID HOLT’S STATE OF MUSIC 2—No Label, HW1295 (compact disc)

ANDREW VOGTS—SASQUATCH WITH AN ALIEN ON IT’S HEAD—Patuxent Music CD-298 (compact disc)

WINDY HILL—BLUEGRASS SOUNDS FROM CALIFORNIA—No Label, No Number (compact disc)

Additional Releases

BETHEL MOUNTAIN BAND—MOSTLY HYMNS—No Label, No Number. This is a nice group from Oregon who have selected a number of familiar gospel tunes for this project, including songs mostly from the public domain and a few from Eugene Monroe, Marion Eastering, and Bobby Austin. The band consists of Will Barnhart (bass vocals), Larry Knox (lead and baritone vocals), Tyce Pedersen (bass), Jerry Schrock (ukulele and tenor vocals), Gene Stutzman (mandolin), Jerry Stutzman (banjo and harmonica), and Craig Ulrich (guitar and lead and baritone vocals). The song list includes well-known compositions “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Amazing Grace,” “Are You Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb?,” “The Unclouded Day,” “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” and “In The Sweet By And By” with lead vocal by Karissa Schrock, daughter of Jerry Schrock. There is also an a cappella version of “I Stand Amazed (My Savior’s Love),” and some may remember the closing tune “Try A Little Kindness.” The group focuses on very tight harmonies, backed by simple instrumental arrangements to produce a nice gospel project. (www.bethelmountainband.com)

THE BRENT ROCHESTER FAMILY—LEAD ME TO CALVARY—No Label, No Number. The Brent Rochester Family is a 5-piece group consisting of Brent (banjo, guitar), his wife Franci (vocals), sons Isaac (guitar, resonator guitar, ukulele) and Micah (mandolin, bass, guitar), and daughter Kidron (bass). The family runs All About Him Ministries and uses gospel music to spread their message. The group combines good instrumentation, from driving bluegrass to smooth flatpicking with tight harmonies and soulful leads. Selections include “He Strengthens Me,” “Seeking The Lost,” “Paul And Silas,” “Be Assured,” “Down From His Glory,” “Let Him In,” and the title-cut “Lead Me To Calvary.” Isaac’s lead guitar work, Micah’s mandolin, and Brent’s banjo are featured throughout. One highlight is “The Savior Is Waiting,” beautifully performed. This is a really nice fourth outing for this family band. (All About Him Ministries, P.O. Box 749, Blacksburg, SC 29702, www.allabouthimministries.com.)

SOUTHPAW BLUEGRASS BAND—LONG RAGGED MILE—Sower Records SOW 017. Southpaw Bluegrass from Omaha, Nebr., is popular with their fans at many of the local venues. The band is David Fleming (guitar), Brian McGovern (mandolin, jaw harp), Daren Blythe (banjo), Corey Stroud (bass), and Sam Packard (fiddle). This new project consists of all-original material with the main songwriter being Fleming, along with additional contributions from Blythe and McGovern. Selections include “Kisses Of Wine,” the dark “Nothing To Lose,” “Don’t You Fret,” “Know When To Fold,” “No Bigger Crime,” and “I Still Love You All The Time.” Instrumentals include “The Marble Point Fire,” “Rhubarb Breakdown,” and “Buns In The Oven,” all from banjo player Blythe. Overall, the group has good picking and nice harmonies, sure to gain them new listeners. (www.sowerrecords.com)

Comp & Reissues

APRIL VERCH—THE APRIL VERCH ANTHOLOGY—Slab Town Records STR17-01. This release offers some of April’s favorites from her recordings spanning 1998-2015, as well as two newly recorded songs. It includes the talents of bluegrass greats Mac Wiseman, Bobby Hicks, Sam Bush, and Dirk Powell. (www.aprilverch.com)

BLUEGRASS PATRIOTS—THROUGH THE YEARS: FAVORITE SONGS AND REQUESTS—Red Feather Records RF004. Jimmy Carter was President in October 1980 when the Bluegrass Patriots played their first gig in Fort Collins, Colo. When the band stopped touring in 2011, they had recorded six CDs. This release contains 22 of their favorite and most requested tunes. (Ken Seaman, 1807 Essex Dr., Fort Collins, CO 80526, www.bluegrasspatriots.com.)

LARRY SPARKS—LONESOME AND BLUE—Rebel Records REB-CD-7536. International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Famer Larry Sparks launched a solo career after having spent time with the Stanley Brothers and Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys. The 14 classic songs on this CD come from seven of Larry’s long out-of-print albums. Guests include Scott Napier, Ricky Skaggs, Wendy Miller, Gene Elders, Art Stamper, Josh McMurray, Mike Lilly, Barry Crabtree, and Larry D. Sparks. (www.rebelrecords.com)

BILL MONROE & THE BLUE GRASS BOYS—CASTLE STUDIO 1950-1951, COMPLETE SESSIONS (RESTORED)—Richard Weize Archives ACD 12522. Five-CD set of all of Bill Monroe’s recordings for Decca in 1950-’51, featuring lead singers Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, and Edd Mayfield, presented with outtakes (none previously issued) of all the tracks. Also includes multiple takes of “Raw Hide.” Included is a revised discography by Neil Rosenberg and notes by Dick Spottswood (edited by Rosenberg), along with recollections by Monroe fiddler Charlie Smith. (richard-weize-archives.com)