Friday, August 30, 2013

Prescription Bluegrass Reviews Blue Mafia–MY COLD HEART !

Blue Mafia |“My Cold Heart”| Label: Independent|  Produced by: Tony Wray |Released: May 2013 |Reviewed by: Rita SmallWith the release of My Cold Heart, the freshman venture from Indiana based Blue Mafia; the group has hit the ground running with no intentions of slowing down. Blue Mafia, formed in 2011 by the husband and wife team of Tony and Dara Wray, has quickly been making their presence known.

Tony, a well-known musician, and Dara, who wrote eight of the projects thirteen songs, have found the right combination that delivers a mixture of original material, classic renderings, and a hot instrumental.

Blue Mafia, winners of the 2012 DelFest, consists of Tony Wray on guitar/vocals, Dara Wray on mandolin/vocals, Kent Todd on fiddle/vocals, Cody Looper on banjo, and Michael Gregory on bass.  This blend of players, who have individually been honing their skills since they were teenagers, will keep listeners entertained and wanting to hear more with the mixture of well-chosen songs and solid musicianship that is My Cold Heart.

The CD kicks off with Double Talking Woman, penned by Dara and featuring the group’s fiddle player, Kent Todd, on lead vocals and lets listeners know right away they are in for something fresh. Kent boldly sings the skillfully written lyrics about a woman of questionable character.

A special treat for listeners comes with, Lonely Teardrops, when Bluegrass staple Dave Denman, Dara’s father, makes an appearance by lending his talents on baritone vocals. It should also be noted, that Tony demonstrates his musical prowess by taking on the job of playing all the instrumentation on this original composition.

As I have listened to this project over the last several weeks, This Mining Life, written by Dara and featuring Tony on lead vocals, stands-out and will surely bring new fans into the fold of Blue Mafia. This song is an example of how a group can breathe life into a well-written song and allow listeners to become lost in a lyric.

Blue Mafia also includes the gospel song Three Men On a Mountain, which has always been a favorite of mine, as part of this recording. The group’s arrangement of this classic song will have listeners hitting the rewind button and enjoying all the subtleties provided by the musicians.

While I believe it is Dara’s song writing that enables Blue Mafia to stand out, it is only by taking the talents of each member and carefully combining those talents that has been the mixture to place Blue Mafia on the map and create a solid project. Overall, My Cold Heart would be a project worth adding to any Bluegrass collection and will leave the listener anxious to hear more from this group.

Submissions - Rita

1 comment:

  1. Write on Rita!!! Very good review. I'll have to get this one now for my collection!


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