Thursday, November 27, 2014

CD Review - John Mailander - WALKING DISTANCE

Image635526907793383279For me, one of the more selfish reasons of going to a bluegrass festival, either as a paid performer or spectator, is the prospect of getting into a good after hours jam. Those prospects are akin to a company picnic raffle. Sometimes you get squat. Sometimes you win a crummy frisbee with the company logo on it. But, once in a while you get lucky and go home with a new TV or  barbeque grill.

On an August weekend in 2011 at Vista California's Summergrass Bluegrass Festival my selfishness paid off.  A small impromptu jam erupted under the dim lights of the snack bar canopy. It began as most jams begin. Old Blue Sound tech Alvin Blaine and I were noodling around on guitar and banjo. Sawmill Road was performing that weekend and lucky for us mandolinist Mark Miracle showed up to pick a few.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

CD Review - Feller & Hill - HERE COME FELLER & HILL AGAIN!

Image635522276802238047“Here Come Feller & Hill Again,” is one of those CD’s that for me, slipped through the cracks. I’ve been too scattered, for too long, to get the review I wanted to write even started, much less finished! I just about had the first copy of the CD the boys sent me worn out when it disappeared somewhere between Oklahoma and Colorado……where it went I do not know, but, I swear I’m never movin’ again! I loved their first release, and in my review of it, I said that it should be in the running for the IBMA “Album of the Year” award, and I meant it. For an artist to have their first recording be so focused, personalized and recognizable is unheard of, but Tom and Chris pulled it off in spectacular fashion. With this new one, (to keep from getting confused, I refer to it as #2,) the boys have stepped up their game considerably and it is every bit as good, or better, than their debut CD was. With liner notes written by none other than Tom T. Hall, this is another first class project from Tom and Chris, and, as with their first release, it’s also on Tom T’s Blue Circle Records.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Image635513873334338051The first time I ever saw the name Tim Stafford in print was in the liner notes of a 1990 holiday CD that my good friend Butch Baldassari had produced and recorded.

The title was “Evergreen – Mandolin Music for Christmas.” Evergreen was made famous by none other than The Weather Channel. During the holiday seasons of those early 90's, Evergreen was the background music as graphics for your local weather scrolled across the screen.

It was a perfect fit. Soothing acoustic Christmas music on a winters day. Cold weather sold a lot of copies of that now classic recording, and the deft guitar work of Tim Stafford was exposed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

CD Review: Crowe, Lawson & Williams - STANDING TALL AND TOUGH

Image635513000831905809A few years back, in keeping with the rulebook governing the average male's mid-life crisis, I purchased a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28. Yes, it was as sweet as the picture that just popped into your head. One of my challenges, aside from avoiding speeding tickets, was finding someone that knew how to work on these no-frills, all gas and guts, non-computer assisted muscle cars.

I managed to find the perfect guy. He had worked as a factory trained mechanic at a Chevrolet dealership from the early 60's through the early 90's. He was as happy to be able to work on a “real” car as I was to put my trust in him. He knew how and why that car was built and knew how to extract every ounce of horsepower it had to give. No doubt, old school.


Subscribe Now: RSS Reader