So I’ve been listening to some good bluegrass over the last few days first from The Cumberland River Band and their latest album The Rock Island Express and today I added a couple of more bluegrass albums, Edgar Loudermilk’s new album Roads Traveled and Driftwood and their new album Stronger Every Day.
Edgar Loudermilk started playing bass in his family’s band when he was nine years old and continued in the family band until he was 20, during that time he was exposed in some great music from his famous relatives, The Louvin Brothers. When he was 20 he joined the band Carolina Crossfire. Since that time he has played bass and sung tenor with Rhonda Vincent, Full Circle with Marty Raybon and since 2007 he has played with III Tyme Out. Roads Traveled is his first solo effort and is currently number 24 on the Roots Music Bluegrass Charts and the single “Can’t Live Life” which features a duet with his former boss Rhonda Vincent is 29 on the Bluegrass Music Profiles Top 30! Other friends who helped out on the album include: Tim Crouch; fiddle, Randy Kohrs; Dobro, Scott Haas; banjo and former Full Circle band-mates Ashby Frank; mandolin and Shane Blackwell;guitar. The picking on the album is great as are Loudermilk’s vocals. Several other friends add vocal assistance. These friends include Marty Raybon, (duet on “Roads Traveled”), Cia Cherryholmes (duet on “It Just Might”), Rhonda Vincent (duet on “Can’t Live Life”), Russell Moore, Randy Kohrs and another former Full Circle band-mate, Glenn Harrell. I particularly liked both the duets with the women Loudermilk’s tenor blends nicely with both Cia on “It Just Might” and “Can’t Live Life” with Rhonda Vincent is just as great. All in all it was a great mix of good picking and singing and will get a lot of plays!
The Cumberland River Band and their debut album The Rock Island Express caught my eyes and ears the a while back on emusic and I put it on the iPOD the other day and have really been enjoying it! There’s some really good tunes and some great picking on this album. James Dean and Joey Jones friends who were the founding members of the band made a decision when they founded the band that they would write their on songs so that their music would appeal to all ages of bluegrass fans and most folks agree that they have succeeded! Steve Gulley produced the album for these guys from Harlan County, Kentucky. Last year they wrote a song as a gift (included on the CD) for the FX show Justified, that is set in Harlan. This year they learned that the song will be featured on Episode 2 of the show’s second season. (Note to self check it out ON Demand). The band is composed of friends: James Dean on banjo-lead harmony vocals, Joey Jones on upright bass, Dustin Middleton on mandolin, Danny Campbell on guitar, and the newest member of the band Jamie Stewart on guitar and dobro. Like I said the album is full of great self-penned tunes and I think you’re going to hear a lot of good stuff about these guys!!