Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Prescription Bluegrass CD Review–The Hillbenders

Image634945188679664065THE HILLBENDERS – CAN YOU HEAR ME

Label: Compass Records

Released: September 2012

By: W.J. Hallock

One of the definitions of “Symbiosis” is: “A close, prolonged association between two or more different species that is mutually beneficial to each member.” Yep….. that sounds like THE HILLBENDERS to me! “SYMBIOTIC!” Chad “Gravy Boat” Graves’ screamin’ dobro benefits from Mark Cassidy’s high wattage, parallel banjo licks, while Mark’s banjo benefits from Nolan Lawrence’s hot and tasty mandolin chops. Nolan’s mandolin benefits from Jim Rea’s enthusiastic guitar, just like Jim’s guitar benefits from his cousin, Gary Rea’s thunder storm driven upright bass, and Gary’s bass, in turn, churns right back around under the current of Chad’s dobro. Around and around they go, five different “Species” of instruments bouncing in and out of each other‘s space for their mutual benefit! Simply put, this band is so tight they probably all breathe in unison!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Prescription Bluegrass CD Review–Jerry Douglas “Traveler”


Jerry Douglas – Traveler
Label:      eOne Music
Released: October 2012

Reviewed by: Dan King

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the greatest Dobro player of all?

Faced with that query, most magic mirrors would probably respond by saying that Jerry Douglas has been, and is, the premier Dobro player of our time.

And who could argue?

Thursday, January 3, 2013



BY: W.J. Hallock

Coty Hogue’s new CD, “When We Get To Shore,” definitely shows off her talents as a singer, song-writer, guitarist and claw-hammer banjo player. It also shows that she is absolutely fearless! This release was recorded “LIVE At Empty Sea Studios,“ in Seattle, Washington.

Anyone attempting to record a live CD, in my humble opinion, is either an eternal optimist, or certifiably crazy! So many things can go wrong….. mentally, technically, musically, physically, mechanically…… you really have to have all your ducks in a row! But…. if you persevere and pull it off, you end up with an audio Polaroid of that moment in time. A total one of a kind image.

Coty Hogue pulled this one off, and she did it in a marvelously intimate, emotional and personal fashion.

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