Friday, April 18, 2014

Prescription Bluegrass Reviews MA CROW & THE LADY SLIPPERS - Memory Of A Mountain


25 years ago the idea of women playing bluegrass, serious bluegrass, was still a novelty.

There was a smattering of female artists and bands back then, Lynn Morris, Laurie Lewis, Gina Britt, Deanie Richardson, The New Coon Creek Girls, The Good Ol' Persons (sorry Paul Shelasky) and Claire Lynch just to name a few.

Just to name a few I letters please. But none really ever rose to national prominence. Even the Dixie Chicks went unnoticed until they dropped their bluegrass image and went mainstream country.

In the late 80's Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent knocked a big hole in that wall. Others took advantage of that opening and wriggled on through. Claire Lynch became a headline act, vocalist Alecia Nugent was on the festival circuit. Kristin Benson of The Grascals was voted as an IBMA Banjo Player of the Year. Sierra Hull became a household name (hey...that's my house and your house ok?), Lorraine Jordan is making a name for herself and now the super-group Della Mae is on the A list of highly sought after bluegrass bands. Not because they are women that happen to be great musicians, but because they are great musicians that happen to be women. Ma Crow (what a great name) & the Lady Slippers are talented musicians that just so happen to be female. And that is that.

"...the stars aligned and allowed these fine ladies to find one another and ... they have the resources and sticktuitivness to actually produce recordings of their own brand of bluegrass music."

Ma Crow, who sings and plays guitar is joined by Lady Slippers Trina Emig on banjo, guitar and mando, Vicki Abbott on upright bass, and fiddle player Margie Drees who wrote 3 of the 12 cuts on this their second CD. I was pleased with the eclectic selection of songs on Memories of a Mountain. Add to Margie Dree's three previously mentioned originals, public domain workhorse Shady Grove, Bill Monroe's “Get Up John”, the genre' bending “Montana Cowboy” and unexpected gems such as “I Am No Mermaid” make this album more than worth slipping in the CD player when out for a Sunday drive. 

It's cool that the stars aligned and allowed these fine ladies to find one another and even cooler that they have the resources and sticktuitivness to actually produce recordings of their own brand of bluegrass music. Ma & The Slippers knew what they were doing when they hired legendary bluegrass sideman Ron Stewart to mix and master this project. His knowledge of how acoustic instruments are supposed to sound shines through. What the Lady Slippers lack in precision is made up for in soul. Listen to the last cut appropriately titled “Time is Winding Up” and you'll hear what I mean.

Reviewed for Prescription Bluegrass by Marty Warburton

Cedar City, Utah /


  1. My husband and I have been following Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers for the past three years now and are continuously delighted with their music. But the best part is seeing them live! These ladies clearly love what they are doing and enjoy doing spirited music together. They are humble, beautiful, vintage gems. Should not be missed live!

  2. "LIVE" indeed. There is nothing like live music; especially from this talented group. Whether in a large venue, an intimate one, or at a 60th Birthday party for my wife in her sister's family room. . . . . . they are a treasure to be enjoyed. Catch 'em next time you can. You'll be impressed and entertained!

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience of Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers. I am much fond of this kind of music and would love to listen these bluegrass artists. I am sure it will make me refresh especially when I become exhausted from my hectic schedule.


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