Love Canon – Cover Story

LOVE CANON brings their acoustic-roots sensibilities to the electronic-tinged pop hits of the 80’s and 90’s to create Cover Story, their 4th album, due out on Organic Records July 13, 2018. With Cover Story, LOVE CANON delivers a fresh set of classics, crossing genres to recount music of decades past from the likes of Peter Gabriel, Billy Joel, Depeche Mode, and Paul Simon. The self-produced album hosts a plethora of special guests including Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, Keller Williams, Michael Cleveland, and Eric Krasno, among others.

The band’s diehard fans are music lovers first and are drawn to the charismatic and wide-ranging vocal stylings of lead singer and guitarist Jesse Harper matched with banjo master Adam Larrabee, mandolin pickin’ by Andy Thacker, Darrell Muller holding down the low-end on standup bass, and the slick sounds of resonator guitar king Jay Starling on the Beard MA-6. It’s acoustic rock! Acclaimed fiddler Alex Hargreaves [Turtle Island Quartet, Sarah Jarosz] does all of the fiddling on this record with the exception of two tracks, and he occasionally joins them on tour.

The Patuxent Partners – There Must Be Another Way To Live

Album Notes
In the world of bluegrass music, the high lonesome sound never goes out of style. When a great traditional band hits the stage with power and authenticity, the audience really pays attention. The Patuxent Partners command such attention wherever they perform. Since 1975, the the Patuxent Partners have brought their exciting brand of bluegrass music to festivals, dances, concerts, and special events throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Bandleader Tom Mindte sings and plays mandolin.Tom’s remarkable voice ranges from deep bass to soaring tenor, and he brings a wealth of traditional songs to the band’s repertoire. Tom’s phenomenal mandolin virtuosity, inspired by bluegrass greats Bill Monroe and Buzz Busby, is the driving force behind the band’s instrumental sound. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Bryan Deere hails from southern Maryland.

Whether the song is a country tear-jerker or a bluegrass classic, Bryan’s expressive and powerful singing is pure and true to the roots of the music. Adding excitement and drive to the bluegrass sound is one of the jobs of the banjo picker, and John Brunschwyler is hard to beat. John’s inventive approach to traditional banjo playing has made him a favorite of bluegrassaudiences throughout the region. John also sings the baritone harmonies in the group’s trios. Fiddler Jack Leiderman brings his years of experience with rosin and bow to the Patuxent Partners. His bluesy,
soulful fiddle style skillfully complements the band’s vocals. Pulling it all together is the strong, dynamic rhythm generated by bassist Victoria McMullen. Originally from south Georgia, Victoria is equally at home in a bluegrass, swing or classical setting, and contributes an unwavering sense of musicality to the band.

Jaye Jayle – No Trail and Other Unholy Paths

Beginning as a flurry of 7” singles housed in bare-bones dust jackets, Jaye Jayle has evolved into a captivating persona alterna for the Louisville-based singer-guitarist Evan Patterson. Imbuing negative space with hallucinatory mantras, Patterson has embraced his strengths as a storyteller while trekking into thickets of unmarked sonic terrain. With his cohorts Todd Cook on bass, Neal Argabright on drums, and Corey Smith on auxiliary instrumentation, Jaye Jayle unfurls a tapestry of neo-folk economy, krautrock-esque repetition, skid row’s darkest blues, Midwestern indie rock’s nihilism, and Tangerine Dream’s analog oscillations.

Produced by Dean Hurley, David Lynch’s music supervisor of the last twelve years, No Trail And Other Unholy Paths has transcended the album format, elevating itself to a choose-your-own-adventure experience. Patterson notes that the album bears no specific beginning or ending—Side A and Side B are meant to be interchangeable. The album could open with the fluttering instrumental “No Trail,” or the slow burning synths of “As Soon As The Night,” even the spectral push-pull of “Marry Us,” featuring Emma Ruth Rundle’s spellbinding vocals. Regardless of track sequencing, No Trail And Other Unholy Paths is an album that drives its aural dimensions to the absolute threshold—and then some.

The Sea the Sea – From the Light

The headlong rush to consume, categorise and understand new music before, quickly moving on to the next new single, new EP, new album has become one of the defining characteristics of the contemporary listening experience.

Some albums, though, require and deserve close attention, repeated listening, revealing their intricacies and inner-depths long after the initial rush of vibrant rhythm or sugary close harmony has faded away. It will probably come as no surprise to you that I consider From the Light the second album from The Sea the Sea to be just such and album. This is folk-tinged pop of the highest order.

Having grown from the initial pairing of Chuck and Mira Costa, primary songwriters for the group with the addition of Cara May Gorman on vocals and synthesizer, as well as drummer and percussionist Stephen Struss, the sonic possibilities open to The Sea the Sea are much wider, as well as more challenging and ultimately exhilarating for the listener than they were previously. Production from Tony Pohl gives each element of the band plenty of room to breathe and space to shine, showcasing the versatility of both the songs penned by the Costa’s and the quartet themselves.

This album has everything you could possibly hope for. It starts deceptively-gently with ‘All Go Right’ which gives the initial impression of being an off-cut from The Civil Wars before expanding it’a palette with orchestral and percussive flourishes. Beautifully mixed vocal lines sweep in and out, weaving around and in between one another as the newly-expanded four-piece set their stall out early on.

But it would be a mistake to think of this record as an insubstantial slice of atmospheric pop. For every gentle ballad-esque moment such as ‘Gemeni’ or ‘Let it Be Said’ which is as ready made for a key scene in Grey’s Anatomy as any song has been in recent memory with its “When you come to me, let it be real, may the road rise to meet you the wind at your heels….we go with no apologies or we go alone” refrain and lilting 6/8 rhythms, there’s the pleasant surprise of the driving ‘Phototropic’ or the aptly named ‘Ricochet’, which skitters around, giving each member of the band the opportunity to truly shine.

By the time of closer ‘Take That’ any sense that The Sea the Sea are mere pretenders will have long-since faded away. This is substantial modern pop music, in the vein of bands like The Magic Numbers, another act with a recent album who are incredibly consistent and innovative but who remain oddly overlooked. This is a beautifully mixed and intricate record deserving of wider acclaim.

Larry Cordle – Tales From East Kentucky

 

Multi-Grammy nominee and Kentucky Music Hall of Famer, Larry Cordle is back with another great collection of original songs. Co-written with some of Nashville’s most awarded and respected songwriters.

Album Notes
1. Yardbird:
Anyone who was raised on a farm in Appalachia during the late 1950s and early 60s likely saw someone in their family ring a chicken’s neck and prepare it for Sunday dinner. It was a common practice in the hills of East Kentucky and I know in other locales as well. Nearly everyone had a few chickens for the eggs and Sunday dinner of course. Those feathered fowls were often referred to as ‘yardbirds.’
My best friend and most frequent co-writer Larry Shell and I were talking about it several years ago but could never seem to make much headway with it. Larry had family from the country as well, so he had first hand knowledge that country people had country ways. But, for whatever reason, we just couldn’t get into the song. However, it stayed in our ‘we like the idea’ file from that time on.
While traveling to the IBMA show in Raleigh, NC—I believe in 2015—I started humming this little melody that eventually became the chorus melody. Suddenly, the words that went around the melody popped right into my head! I picked up my cell phone and recorded it quickly before I gave myself a chance to forget it. I pulled off the road and sent my little rough phone recording via text message to Shell. He sent me back a smiley face, so I knew he liked it.
The very next time we got together that autumn, we finished ‘Yardbird.’ We sure had some real belly laughs while twisting this one up. I hope you enjoy this little piece, which tells the story of a chicken’s demise, my grandmother Polly’s way, all the way through Sunday dinner.
I sang it all last season and folks had been asking if I had it recorded. Here ya go!

Chorus:
Yardbird, yardbird a-peckin’ on the ground
Yardbird, yardbird head goes up and down
Make some real good dumplins, when Sunday rolls around
Yardbird, yardbird a-peckin’ on the ground

Verse 1
I remember Mamaw Polly
With her apron full of corn
She drop some down around her feet
And the chickens they would swarm
She’d snatch one up and ring its neck
The feathers they would fly
Then we’d fight over the pulley bone
Once she had him fried

Repeat chorus:

VERSE 2:
Old chicken eatin’ John
After church he’d come for dinner
He’d eat up all the white meat
After preachin’ to the sinners
He’d leave a great big pile of bones
How he could scarfe it down
Thank God we had yardbirds
Peckin’ on the ground

Repeat chorus:

2. Where The Mountain Lilies Grow:
After knowing fabulous artist and songwriter Donna Ulisse for many years and having the privilege of singing with her on a couple of her CDs, we finally got together to try and write a song.
Donna told me a story about a beloved aunt from her husband Rick Stanley’s family, who played the guitar and hailed from the mountains of Virginia. She and some of the other characters in her story sounded like they could have been from my own family. I began playing a little melancholy melody that we wound up writing a verse and a chorus around that day. Before we met again, I made some idea notes and when Donna and I next sat down together, we finished this bittersweet mountain love song. I’m so happy with how beautiful it turned out. The icing on the cake is the back vocals, sung by the great Jerry Salley and Donna herself… a fellow just couldn’t ask for better than that. Thank you, Donna, for the story and for the honor of being asked to write this one with you.

VERSE 1:
Over in the old dominion
Back in the hills off Rockhouse Road
That is where my darlin’ came from
Where the mountain lilies grow

VERSE 2:
Wilder than those mountain flowers
Sweeter than a honeycomb
Stole my heart down by the river
Where the mountain lilies grow

CHORUS:
Love has a name that it goes by
And for me it’s Ella Rose
Love has a place it lives forever
Where the mountain lilies grow

VERSE 3:
Oh so beautiful and caring
Heart of gold gentle but strong
Played the guitar while she was singing
An old lonesome mountain song

VERSE 4:
She loved her husband and her babies
Loved her dear old bad ridge home
Now she’s forever with the angels
Where the mountain lilies grow

Repeat chorus:

3. Bluegrass Junction:
I was traveling and listening to Bluegrass music on SiriusXM radio (channel 62). The show is called Bluegrass Junction. I could not recall having heard a song by that title. The Rev Shell and I had scheduled a day to try and collaborate with one of our favorite new artists—absolute great guitarist and singer, Trey Hensley. I threw the idea out there and it stuck. Thinking of the show made it easy to connect the dots. Bluegrass Junction, however, could be any place where ‘grass heads’ congregate for pickins’. Any time they do, you’re sure to hear strains of our hillbilly heroes that we managed to fit into this happy piece.

VERSE 1:
There’s a great little hangout
Where the 5 String still rings out
Down at the Bluegrass Junction
High lonesome heaven
Twenty-four seven
Down at the Bluegrass Junction

CHOURS:
Handmade, heartfelt melodies
As honest as a front porch breeze
From city streets to Rosine’s rolling hills
We’re all one big family
A countrified community
Down at the Bluegrass Junction

VERSE 2:
Bill Monroe is always there
Dr. Ralph is on the air
Down at the Bluegrass Junction
J.D Crowe & Tony Rice
Flatt & Scruggs.. Martha White
Down at the Bluegrass Junction

Repeat chorus:

BRIDGE:
Bluegrass music stands the test of time
That old train’s still rollin’ down the line

Repeat chorus;

4. Lawrence County Seat:
My friend Connie Leigh (Sadie’s Got Her New Dress On, Doyle Lawson) and I started writing on this song right before Christmas in 2009. Connie had a really good start on the 1st verse and part of a chorus. Together, we wrote the 2nd verse and the back half of the chorus and called it a day.
We never got together again to finish the song.
In April or May of 2017, I was getting stuff together for this CD. As it just so happened, my Sister Miranda had gotten a couple of the original church pews from the old Cordell Freewill Baptist Church at Blaine, KY.
She had them refinished, kept one for herself, and gave the other to me.
They are beautiful antiques of a bygone era.
Now, I’d like to tell you that Sis giving me the old pew is what led me to look at the lyric again, but I can’t say that for certain.
What I do know is for some reason, while compiling the song list for this CD…. something told me, look at the church pew thing. I’m a night owl, so after Wanda was asleep one night,
I opened the file… I remembered the melody…wait…. I’ve got a little piece of something. The next thing I knew, it was well after midnight—but I was really into the song. I was not going to let it go. I got what I thought were the last two verses but something still wasn’t right…. Does it need a bridge? I need to start thinking about getting in the bed…. but…. not… yet. Around 2:30-3:00 AM, I got the bridge to a place that I thought it might be finished, though I wasn’t sure if Connie would like it.
Connie and I don’t see much of each other these days, but we are friends on Facebook. So the next day, I sent her all I had worked on the night before. She really liked it and so with her blessing, Mike Bub and I made a chart for it and the finished product is what you hear.
I didn’t think the song title should be ‘Old Church Pew,” since that gives the hook away right off the bat. I had some other alternative titles in mind among them: ‘The Retirement Song’ or maybe, ‘I Saw It All.’ One night at the Station Inn my friend and great songwriter Craig Martin [Don’t Take The Girl, Tim McGraw] had come to see the ‘New Monday’ band perform. At my wife Wanda’s urging, I played my new song for him, explaining my title dilemma. Craig, knowing I was from Lawrence County, KY, and knowing it was about a church pew, suggested I call it Lawrence County Seat. I loved it! So Craig gets credit for naming the song. Thanks, old friend for giving me the title. And now you know—as Paul Harvey used to say—“the rest of the story.”
I thank God Almighty for giving me the words when I’m stuck. Connie and I (and she would tell you the same thing) would not have gotten this song without His guiding hand. He deserves all the credit, for bringing Connie Leigh and I together and giving us this song.

Verse 1: Verse 3:
Today is my last day I’ve heard some pretty singing
I’m officially retired How the rafters they would ring
I’ll just sit around in my new home Felt folks squirm
But I can tell some stories When the preachin’ got too hot
If anyone still cares I’ve seen tears of joy and sorrow
I’ve seen it all And I can testify
In these last 80 years There’s power in the Mighty Lamb of God

Verse 2: Verse 4:
You see I’m the oldest member I’ll miss the sanctuary
Of the Cordell Baptist Church And the worship most of all
I came here when they opened up the doors But the older folks now need a softer seat
I’ve heard the gospel preached here But I’m thankful for the memories
And the congregation shout And the miracles I’ve seen
When a lost soul found its way to the Lord And they all say I’ll make a great antique

Chorus: Bridge:
I’ve seen ‘em come and go here I came from Ebo Fraley’s farm
The hypocrites and saints That big old chestnut oak
Some were poor and some were well to do That the lightning struck the spring of ‘33
Politicians looking for a vote Me and the little short bench
Those looking for a ray of hope That the deacons always use
Have all sat here on Sunday We’re gonna miss the hallelujahs
I’m an old church pew We’re just old church pews

Repeat Chorus:

5. Old Men:
My old go to guy, Larry Shell, brought this idea to me about a year ago. He had a good start on it and likely could have finished it himself. But, he brought me in on the song to see if I could add anything to what he already had.
We finished the song in one day and I’m so tickled with the way it turned out. I don’t think you have to be ‘old’ to enjoy this song. Maybe it will remind you of your father, uncle, grandfather–or just someone you know. It certainly would have described several folks in my family and …ok…. me too.

Verse 1:
Old men like Bluegrass and guns
Love talking ‘bout their daughters and sons
They like biscuits and gravy
Some were in the Navy
And they’re proud of
The work they have done

Verse 2:
Old men like an off colored joke
Some of them still sneak off for a smoke
They still look at the ladies
And love holding babies
And know Jesus
Is still our best hope

Chorus:
Old men are still young men inside
They just have fewer mountains to climb
Those gray hairs mean wisdom
That they’ve earned by livin
And they know the true value of friends
Old men

Verse 3:
Old men don’t take any crap
Love baseball and taking a nap
They still fly old glory
And tell some tall stories
And they all hate doctors
And rap

Repeat Chorus:

6. We Blame The Devil
I wrote this song alongside my close friends and former Lonesome Standard Time band mates, Jenee Fleenor, (currently with the Blake Shelton band) and Brandon Rickman (current Lonesome River Band member).
My friend Tommy from East Kentucky told me a funny story about his grandfather and another man from their community having a falling out. This finally came to a head at the church where they were both members. Evidently, the fellow who had been angry with Tommy’s grandfather got up in open church to ask for his forgiveness. He said he didn’t know what caused him to say such terrible things about Mr. Tom—but he reckoned the devil was the cause of it all. Tommy’s grandfather then rose to make his peace with the man but supposedly said, “well, we blame the poor old devil for just about everything around here, but ole Bill is just gonna have to take the blame for this one himself!”
I thought it was a hilarious story. Of course, to make it really funny you would have to know Tommy and hear him tell it. I retold the story to Jenee and Brandon, and we all agreed it would make a great song. We intended to write it tongue in cheek; you know, “the poor ‘ol devil” sort of thing—but that is not how it turned out. We got to thinking about freewill and the fact that the devil only makes suggestions. The individual chooses whether or not to carry out those suggestions.
It was written melodically from more of an r&b perspective, but a couple years ago, I had an idea of how I could put it in a feel that would make it sound more like me. I went to Jenee’s house & we whittled it into what you hear now.
Jenee is playing fiddle on the track and she and Brandon provided the back vocals on this now serious piece. I had an idea to turn the song back toward its original state just a bit. So, I called the fantastic Angie Primm to do a hi-baritone part in the last chorus. This, along with the ad-libs she provided, really brought the track home. Thank you, Tommy, for the story and thank you to my dear friends Brandon and Jenee for co-writing this song with me.

Verse 1:
What did I do wrong Adam said to God? Bridge:
The woman made me do it, it was all her fault We’re just looking for a scapegoat
Eve said it’s the serpent he said I should That we can use
I know you told me not to but he said it was good There’s just right or wrong
We’re free to choose
Chorus 1: In a moment of weakness we’re all deceived
She blamed the devil for everything Well I know that’s right
But he’s not the one who eat it But I do believe
No don’t you believe it
She made the choice to disobey Chorus 3:
She tried to lay her sin off on him We blame the devil for everything
Hide her guilt behind his name But we all know he’s a liar
She blamed the devil for everything Who has just one desire
And that’s to steal our soul away
Verse 2: We try to lay our sin off on him
Well the banker told the farmer We blame the devil for everything
He said Mr. Steele
I hate to take your farm but you made the deal Tag:
So the farmer shot the banker
Killed him dead
The devil made me do it
That’s what he said

Chorus 2:
He blamed the devil for everything
But he didn’t pull the trigger
Make up lying figures
That led a man to his grave
He tried to lay his sin off on him
Hide his guilt behind his name
He blamed the devil for everything

7. A Large Detroit American Automobile:
Sometimes you just got to be in the right place at the right time.
That’s what happened to me circa 1991, when I went to the Circle H in Clays Ferry, KY to see the late great Earl Watkins.
We always saw other friends and musicians when we went to the Circle H and this night was no different. Another friend of ours, noted blues player Nick ‘Stump’ Stamper, drove up in a big car. Someone made a comment about his ride, to which he replied: “Yeah, that’s a large Detroit American automobile.”
I went home and wrote the comment down. When I was back in Nashville, I told the idea to… who else?…Shell. I was leasing office space from him back then so we saw each other almost every day. Larry liked the idea, but we could never seem to get farther than the chorus. That part came fairly easy but we just couldn’t seem to find our way into the verses. Once again it sat in our ‘we like it’ file for many years. Finally—3 or 4 years ago—we figured out something we liked for the verses and were able, after maybe 20 years of talking about it, to finish the song.
Oh for those days again when gasoline was about .42 cents a gallon and big V-8s ruled the roadway. What I wouldn’t give to take a spin in my ‘ol red’66 389 tri-power GTO or my ’68 396 Camaro once again. …..wishful thinking…

VERSE 1
I’ve been thinking back to the days of old
When you could tell a man by the car he drove
When every boy’s dream was a GTO
A ‘Vette or a Mustang don’t you know
Now all they talk about is something green
Anything to save a little gasoline
Hybrids, electrics, I’ll tell you friend
We’ll never see the good old days again

CHORUS
Well I don’t care how much gas they use
A big V-8 cures the little car blues
I’d love to get my hands
Around the neck of a Prius man
Give me a Buick Roadmaster or an Oldsmobile
A Lincoln Continental or a Coup De Ville
A large Detroit American automobile

VERSE 3
When I put my foot in it I wanna feel
That four barrel carburetor smoke them wheels
Bigger is better in the home of the brave
Who wants a rice burner anyway?
I’m lookin’ for a ride with comfort and class
Something with style and NASCAR fast
A machine like Motor City used to make
Horsepower to spare that’s what I crave

Repeat chorus:

8. Scared The Hell Out Of Me:
As a songwriter, one thing I’ve learned is that you never know where you’ll find your next song idea. In 2016, I was on the interstate in Florida heading to a performance there.
A billboard on the highway caught my eye. It said… “Want to get the hell scared out of you? Come in here.” It was the week of Halloween and the billboard was actually an advertisement for a large church nearby. I immediately picked up my phone and recorded myself a voice message. I thought it would make a great song idea.
Back in Nashville, I called Shell. We had been on a roll with our recent songwriting. We got together and kicked a couple of other ideas around, but they went nowhere. I really wanted to try ‘Scared the Hell Out of Me.’ It started with just a melody idea—that bluesy open D sound, with my guitar tuned down a whole step—and then the tale began to unravel. It could have been about me! Well… except for the part about the man killing his woman and then himself—that we made up. Much of the rest of this story mirrored many of my own wrong turns in life. I remembered old sermons I heard as a child and how afraid I was (and still am), of the horrors of an eternity spent separated from God and one’s family in a place called Hell. I remembered going against God’s law time and again and my many years as a completely lost soul. Finally, thanks to what my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did for me at Calvary, I found forgiveness and a much more hopeful eternity, when my days here are finished.
I thank God for leading me to look at the sign and for giving Larry and me the tale to tell.

VERSE 1: Verse 3:
I was barely 8 years old God’s Holy Word condemned my soul
At Low Gap church Brushy road Lost on Satan’s sinful road
I slid close to mom & held her hand Then one night with Dad at church
When the preacher said oh! sinner man I heard another man of God say these words
That lake of fire the devil’s lair That lake of fire the devil’s lair
There’s no escape if you go there There’s no escape if you go there
There’s weeping and gnashing of teeth There’s weeping and gnashing of teeth
His words scared the hell out of me His words scared the hell out of me

Channel 1: Channel 3:
Mama said my soul He’d keep Then and there I prayed this prayer
I said my prayers and fell asleep Have mercy Lord don’t send me there
And for years my faith was strong Jesus heard my cry and set me free
But I grew weaker, Lord, as time went on The word of God scared the hell out of me

VERSE 2: Tag:
I stumbled bad along the way God’s Holy Word scared the hell out of me
The world was such a tempting place
I tried it all and wanted more
And so old Satan opened up the door
A pretty girl took my hand
I didn’t know she had a man
He shot her dead then turned to me
His words scared the hell out of me

Channel 2:
Son, are you a praying man?
Then pray for me, she’s all I had
I can’t go on without my wife
Then he turned the gun and took, his own life

9. Back When:
As I have previously told you, The Rev and I went a few years where we didn’t have the opportunity to write together at all. It seriously put a dent in my song output, because I sort of lost my will to write without my favorite co-writer around. I mean… I managed to write some things—but my heart really wasn’t in it.
Anyway, on our first opportunity to write together after several years of inactivity, we wrote “Back When.”
When I was a kid, footballs were not very popular in our basketball crazy state of Kentucky. GO BIG BLUE! As much as I loved basketball, I loved football too. I watched games any time I could on our old black & white Motorola TV. Of course the Kentucky Wildcats were my favorite team, but they were never very good and seldom on TV. However, my favorite pro player was a guy named Johnny Unitas, who played for the Baltimore Colts … that’s right—Baltimore, not Indianapolis. I was really a Cleveland Browns fan, but Johnny U was my man all the way.
Once, after watching a pro game, my brother Mike and I wanted to play football but didn’t have a ball. I folded and rolled up an old brown coffee sack and tied it up with baler twine. Wallah! We had us a football.
That is how this song started taking life, reliving those old times. Now tell me, what 12 year old boy has not pretended to be driving their dad’s car off to the destination of their dreams, with their first crush by their side? The Rev and I spent a great day together fashioning this tale that was really our own lives in song. Oh, for those days again…. The pickins’ at Hobart and Dorothy Skaggs’ place when Ricky was just a kid, when a guy named Keith Whitley and his brother Dwight might just show up and blow you away. When a good time didn’t cost a dime..……. back when.

VERSE 1 CHORUS:
My brother was just six years old Back when.. it was Zero bars and 7 ups
And I was all of nine With your friends
I made a football from a feed sack Back when
Tied up with sea grass twine We got together at a neighbor’s house
Then I dropped back and made a pass To pick and grin
Just like Unitas did Butch wax in a flat-top cut
Make believe is easy for a kid And hopefully with any luck
We made all our dreams come true back when A little kiss from your new girl friend
We all made our dreams come true
VERSE 2 Back when
And I drove hours in Dad’s car Bridge:
And never even left the yard I know my daughter thinks
I got far away from the farm That I’m a dinosaur
Had Sally Burchfield on my arm When she hears me talk
I’d make it big and she’d be mine about the way things were before
Forever till the end of time I’m not too concerned about
I couldn’t wait for the wheel to spin The latest buzz
We made all our dreams come true back when I spend more time thinkin bout
The way it was

Repeat chorus:

10. Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Right:
I had heard this statement many times from my dad, grandpa, uncles and others. However, it had a different affect on me the day my dear friend and mentor, Jim Rushing, threw it to me as song idea. I was immediately drawn to it.
Jim and I were once frequent co-writers. We even penned a couple of big hits together back in the day (“Heartbreak Hurricane,”) for [Ricky Skaggs] and (“Lonesome Standard Time”) for [Kathy Mattea] and [LST]. We have been just the best of friends for over 30 years.
After marrying the love of his life and moving away to Montana circa 2000, our opportunities to co-write ceased to exist. We often talked about trying to write together again but never had the opportunity, until his visit here in 2014.
When Jim says anything….. I listen. He is a well of song ideas and a word magician if I ever saw one. Soon, we found our way into this song, fashioning it from the beginning about a fence he had long ago helped a dear uncle build in New Mexico. After a long day of twisting the idea this way and that, here is what we came away with; a song that speaks of the value of doing any task in life the ‘right way’ and the value of squaring our spiritual lives with the Master Architect of the Universe as well. Thank you, old friend, for bringing me on board for this one. I hope we get a few more together before we go over the slick log.

That New Mexican sun was beatin down hard
We were building a fence on my uncle’s farm
Huffin and puffin
Wiping the sweat from our eyes
We had those cedar posts all set in place
Then I saw a grimace cross Willie’s old face
We got to do this job over he said and I nearly died

CHORUS
Son, it’s gotta be square, level and plum
It’s gotta be right before you say done
Be honest with yourself
Make sure that you’re satisfied
Don’t ever lower the bar, raise it up high
Anything worth doing, is worth doing right

VERSE 2
When my life was spinning out of control
And I was in fear for my mortal soul
I fell on my knees
And cried out dear God make it right
As Jesus came in and set my heart free
Willie’s long ago words came back to me
Clear as a bell but they came from the Master this time

REPEAT CHORUS

11. Bandit:
Long a Lonesome Standard Time live show staple, this song was co-written sometime in the late 1980s with my friend and sometimes co-writer in those days, Donnie Clark.
Donnie had the idea to write a fiddle-oriented tune about a raccoon, called Bandit. He was thinking about a running fiddle part for a chase scene etc., etc. Though he asked me on many occasions to help him write the song, I couldn’t quite get a handle on how to do so.
One night after a gig at the Bell Cove Club, where I was playing at the time, we decided to try to start working on the song. It was about 1 AM when we finally got started.
Donnie had the makings of a chorus melody and most of the chorus lyric. We finally got a working verse melody and got down to the business at hand.
Somewhere in the process we decided that the best approach would be to write the entire song from ‘Ol Bandit’s point of view. I love giving things that can’t speak a voice. We worked until we were both worn out (maybe 4 AM), but managed two verses and the complete chorus that night. A week or so later, we sat down together again, and, after reviewing what we had, came up with a direction for the last verse. It was then that we officially finished our tale.
Bandit originally appeared on Lonesome Standard Time’s Sugar Hill CD, SH-3816 titled, “Mighty Lonesome.” The band at that time consisted of Glen Duncan, fiddle & tenor vocals; the late great Butch Baldassari, mandolin; Billy Rose, doghouse bass & baritone vocals; Larry Perkins, banjo; and myself on guitar & lead vocals.
From the first time we played the song live, it became a crowd favorite. In the ensuing years, our fans have made sure that it remained on our set lists. Now becoming our long-time encore song, ‘Bandit’ never fails to get the crowd worked up & in a dancing mood. Sugar Hill took the “Mighty Lonesome” CD out of print a few years ago but fans were still consistently asking, what CD is the coon song on? I decided I’d just do a new version for our 2018 project. Here ya go folks… run all night sleep all day…

Verse 1:
Folks call me a bandit a downright common thief
I make my livin stealin’ corn two mile up the creek
There’s a bounty on my tail by the dark of the moon
Them ‘ol hound dogs are on my tail it’s a sad life for a coon

Chorus:
Run all night sleep all day never spend a dollar
All I own is on my back in an old tree up the holler

Verse 2:
Old man McBride’s got friends of mine dryin in the sun
But he ain’t gonna tan my hide long as I can run
I done fooled old blue a time or two but I’m all out of tricks
He’s about to put me up a tree oh lordy what a fix

Repeat chorus:

Verse 3:
Now here I sit upon a limb they’ve got me dead to rights
Old Lance points his gun and grins he’s got me in his sights
Then he sets his rifle down and shakes me to the ground
Looks like I’ll live to run again if I can whip these hounds

Repeat Chorus:

Biography

Larry Cordle was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Kentucky. While a young child he was introduced to bluegrass, country, and gospel music, by his great grandfather Harry Bryant, an old-time claw hammer banjo stylist, fiddle player and dancer. He recounts, “Mom said I could sing I’ll Fly Away, all the way through when I was two years old!” Cordle fondly remembers this early influence by pointing out, “We lived so far away from everything that we had to make our own entertainment. Papaw would get the fiddle out in the evenings sometimes and play and dance for us. Just as soon as I was old enough to try to learn to play I did so and kinda seconded after him on the guitar. He ran an old country store and I spent many happy hours in there with him playing, talking about and listening to music. It was our escape into another world, something we grew up with and looked so forward to. I was always happiest when we were in a jam session”.

After graduating from high school, Cordle spent four years in the Navy and after being honorably discharged, attended Morehead State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in accounting. “I just didn’t see how I could ever make a living doing only music,” he explains, so, I worked for a CPA firm during the day and played in clubs at night”. All the while, Larry desperately wanted to devote all of his time to music, but his commitments would remain divided, until writing a song, that changed everything for the aspiring young Singer-Songwriter.

Eastern Kentucky was not only home for Cordle, but also for his childhood friend and neighbor, musical prodigy, Ricky Skaggs. Upon hearing Cordle’s new song, “Highway 40 Blues”, Ricky promised that he would one day record it. In the summer of 1983, it was the number one song in the nation, helping to launch Larry’s songwriting career and skyrocketing Skaggs’ already solid country music career.

In 1985, at Ricky’s urging, Cordle, by now out of the accounting business and back playing nightclubs again, gave up the security of a full-time gig to move to Nashville and become a staff songwriter for Ricky’s new company, Amanda-Lin Music, with whom he (Ricky) had wisely partnered, with Lawrence Welk’s mega successful publishing company, Welk Music. “Two hundred bucks a week,” Cord laughs, “that wouldn’t go far these days but I made myself a promise that if I ever got a chance, one foot inside the door, that I was gonna work my behind off, as hard as I could to stay inside of it. I met people there at Welk… Jim Rushing, Carl Jackson, Lionel Delmore, Johnny Russell, Dickey Lee, Bob McDill, countless others, and learned what it was gonna take to be a ‘real’ songwriter from them.” They taught me the ropes and I had the talent God gave me, some incredible luck and much love, help and encouragement from my peers and my family.

At last count, Cordle’s songs had appeared on projects that had to date sold a combined total of more than 55 million records, by artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins and many others.

Though songwriting took Larry to Nashville, his desire to perform never waned. With his band, Lonesome Standard Time, Cordle has the perfect platform to share his music with fans everywhere. In 1993, they won the IBMA Song of the Year Award for Lonesome Standard Time written by Larry Cordle & Jim Rushing and in 2000, took home the IBMA Song of the Year Award for one of his most popular songs of his career, “Murder On Music Row,” written by Larry Cordle & Larry Shell. The same year he received yet another IBMA Song of the Year nomination for “Black Diamond Strings” another co-write with Cordle and Shell.

Those two songs were part of two Grammy nominated albums – Larry Cordle, Glen Duncan and Lonesome Standard Time received a 35th Annual GRAMMY Award (1992) Nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for Lonesome Standard Time and in 2000, Cordle and the band received a 43rd Annual GRAMMY Award Nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for Murder On Music Row.

With landing numerous #1 slots on the Bluegrass and Americana charts, they gained the respect of their peers and had many accolades during their existence. Lonesome Standard Time is comprised of seasoned, esteemed musicians in their own right, providing Larry with an outlet to feature his original material, trademark singing and his engaging personality, immediately connecting fans to his music.

In addition to his songwriting and role as a bandleader, Cordle is sometimes featured as a lead and/or background vocalist on some of Nashville’s most awarded and popular music. He’s provided harmony vocals for artists such as Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Bradley Walker, Billy Yates, Rebecca Lynn Howard and co-writing pal, Jerry Salley.

Cordle is featured on Livin, Lovin, Losin: A Tribute to the Louvin Brothers, which won a GRAMMY for Best Country Album in 2003 and received the IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award in 2004. The album features, Joe Nichols, Rhonda Vincent, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Terri Clark, Merle Haggard, Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Ronnie Dunn, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Glen Campbell, Leslie Satcher, Kathy Louvin, Pamela Brown Hayes, Linda Ronstadt, Patty Loveless, Jon Randall, Harley Allen, Dierks Bentley, Jerry Salley, Dolly Parton, Sonya Isaacs, Marty Stuart, Del McCoury, Pam Tillis, Johnny Cash & the Jordanaires on Universal South Records and produced by Carl Jackson.

In 2006, Celebration of Life: Musicians Against Childhood Cancer won the IBMA Album of the Year Award. It features: Larry Cordle, 3 Fox Drive, Lonesome River Band, The Seldom Scene, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Cherryholmes, J.D. Crowe & The New South, BlueRidge, IIIrd Tyme Out, The James King Band, Wayne Benson, Clay Hess, Greg Luck, Aubrey Haynie, Marty Raybon & Full Circle, Tony Rice, Ronnie Bowman & The Committee, The Larry Stephenson Band, Blue Highway, Gena Britt, Randy Kohrs & The Lites, Steve Thomas, Scott Vestal, David Parmley & Continental Divide, Karl Shiflett & the Big Country Show, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Wildfire, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Lost & Found, The Grascals, Alecia Nugent, Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Don Rigsby & Midnight Call, Bradley Walker, Dan Tyminski, Bela Fleck, Barry Bales, Joe Mullins, Bryan Sutton, Jim VanCleve, Clay Jones & Keith Garrett; produced by Bob Kelly, Jack Campitelli & Darrel Adkins and released on Skaggs Family Records.

In 2012, Cordle co-produced the IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award winning album, Life Goes On. The album includes the talents of Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson, Ronnie Bowman, Jerry Salley, Rickey Wasson, Randy Kohrs, D.A. Adkins, Garnet Bowman, Lynn Butler, Ashley Kohrs, Gary Payne, Dale Pyatt, Clay Hess, Alan Bibey, Jay Weaver, Ron Stewart & Jim VanCleve. The album was produced by Jerry Salley, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Jim VanCleve and Randy Kohrs and released on Rural Rhythm Records.

He’s also featured on two tracks of Moody Bluegrass, alongside artists such as Tim O’Brien, Alison Krauss, John Cowan, Harley Allen et al and is recently featured as lead vocalist again on Moody Bluegrass II.

Cordle remains extremely active in all facets of his career. He regularly records, and tours in the U.S. and occasionally abroad with Lonesome Standard Time. He is also still first and foremost a songwriter, now writing independently for his own company, Wandachord Music, BMI.

In April 2015, Larry Cordle was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, celebrating his impressive career in music. The same year he received a Nomination for IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award for the song, “Against the Grain,” by Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time featuring Garth Brooks, produced by Cordle on Mighty Cord Records.

In 2016, Cord had to put a hold on his latest all gospel album while he was undergoing chemo for leukemia, but was able to release Give Me Jesus in March 2017. This powerful album received a 2018 Grammy Nomination for Best Roots Gospel Album and a 2017 IBMA Gospel Recorded Event of the Year Nomination for the title track; a traditional tune arranged by Cord. He rounded up some of his closest friends to bring the album to life including Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley, Val Storey, Don Rigsby, Bradley Walker, Lethal Jackson Angie La Primm and Gail Mayes on vocals. Cord is now in remission.

Larry is a long-time resident of Nashville suburb, Hendersonville, Tennessee. He makes his home there with wife Wanda, and their daughter, Kelvey Christine but still enjoys the opportunity to make frequent trips back to his East Kentucky home place and his roots.

Brennen Ernst – Had a Big Time Today

Brennen Ernst is a multi-instrumental multi-genre musical daredevil. In this project he focuses on some of his favorite banjo pieces.

Contributing to the hot licks and mellow moments are members of the popular band Five Mile Mountain ​Road—Billy Hurt on fiddle and Steven Dowdy on bass—along with Jeremy Stephens playing solid rhythm guitar throughout. Add to the mix such recognized talents as fiddlers Casey Driscoll and Corrina Rose Logston, Danny Knicely on mandolin and guitar, Chris Hill on vocals, and you know you’re in for a great listen.

The title number, Had a Big Time Today, brings back the good old days when girls wore bonnets and came to town on the steamboat, followed by a neatly joined showcase of classic banjo tunes called Old Time Song Medley. Back Home in Indiana is a cheerful offering from the Great American Songbook; the stunning Golden Rocket has tongue-twisting lyrics brilliantly handled by Stephens and Logston; Greasy Wagon is an evocative, loping waltz from the 1920s; Ashland Breakdown by “father of bluegrass” Bill Monroe highlights some fine triple fiddling, while The Old Home will take you to that place where “the sweet waters flow and the wild flowers grow.” Banjo standard Lonesome Road Blues is ​next; then the powerful voice of Hurt and a hot Travis-style guitar break from Stephens combine on the honkytonk entry Walking the Dog. Ernst takes up lead guitar in a Flat-Picking Medley paying tribute to his heroes Clark Kessinger and Doc Watson. Back on banjo, he offers a crisp, lightning-fast rendition of the old time classic Shortnin’ Bread. For a contrast in mood, Hill and Ernst join in singing Wall Around Your Heart, a musical reminder from Reno and Smiley that love stories don’t always have a happy ending. Buckeye, a composition by legendary Georgia fiddler Frank Maloy, showcases Ernst at his banjo best along with fluent fiddling from Hurt, Logston and Driscoll. This stellar collection finishes off with Mac Wiseman’s I’m a Stranger—​it starts with Kniceley’s hard-core mandolin kick ​and moves on to plaintive lyrics led by Stephens with Ernst on tenor and Tom Mindte on baritone, adding a final, true touch of lonesome.

A word of advice: If you plan to take this music on your morning stroll, better tape in your earbuds and be prepared to do some foot-tappin’, foot-stompin’ and flat-footin’ – just sayin’.

Barbara Bamberger Scott

M. Ward – What a Wonderful Industry

Perhaps best known these days as the Him in She & HimM. Ward hasn’t abandoned his solo career. In fact, the musician released a brand new unannounced album today called What a Wonderful Industry.

It marks the follow-up to 2016’s More Rain, and perhaps as indicated by the LP’s title, it’s a self-released effort through M. Ward Records.

The 12-track offering even features a guest appearance by Ward’s Monsters of Folk bandmate and My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James on “Miracle Man.”

Larry Peninsula – Country Music Only

No matter age, gender, region of origin, country of origin, religion, social status, sexual preference, or anything else, everyone has the right to make country music if it’s something that dwells with passion in their heart. Authenticity is not just about who you are, or where you’re from. Sure these things are positive attributes in country music, if you were born and raised in the South or Texas, or did your time on a farm or ranch for example. But the true measure of authenticity is how true an artist is to themselves.

Often the ranks of traditional country artists are populated by people who feel like prisoners to their time, out-of-place in the modern context, or enslaved by their native geography. They just don’t seem to fit quite right in their world. But in the realm of country music, everything feels familiar. It’s astounding how far this country music passion can travel, and in the case of Larry Peninsula, it made its way to to Scandinavia, and Peninsula’s home country of Finland where he’s been obsessing over everything tied to traditional country music and the American West for many years.

Working tirelessly in his home studio for over three years, Peninsula has finally revealed his debut album Country Music Only. As the name implies, this is no close approximation of American country music. Sure, maybe the foreign accent finds its way through in some of the annunciations, and some use of idiom and language doesn’t translate exactly like it does in country music served in the genre’s native tongue. But what does shine through in stark brilliance is the passion for country music Peninsula and his players exhibit, the studious attention to detail and authentic modes they craft into these songs, and frankly just the overall appeal for the music, regardless of the country of origin.

What you’re first astounded by when you cue up the opening title track is how incredibly tasteful the guitar tones come blazing out at you. With all due respect to the North American outfits out there blazing old school country, only a few select folks like Marty Stuart and “Cousin” Kenny Vaughan could match the skill displayed just in the first 20 seconds of the first song. Larry Peninsula went all out to make sure this record was respectful to the sounds and modes of country music from the start, and it doesn’t let up until the end. This is what Saving Country Music first heard months back, placing “Country Music Only” on the Top 25 Playlist when the song was first released.

Luckily though, this album’s riches don’t stop there. The second song “Just A Moment In Time” is probably the most contemporary track on the record, and may trip some traditionalists up with the first listen. But it’s also probably one of the best written songs on the record. There are a few songs that are very country, like “Country Music Only” and “Pretty Good Crowd,” but the songwriting is kind of pedestrian. But that is not the case with tracks like “Wastin’ Daylight,” which might be the best effort on the record, or “Cowboy Heart” where Larry Peninsula speaks very directly to being a foreigner stung by the country music bug.

Throughout this record, you get a sense of loneliness many traditional country music artists and their fans feel in the modern context. “Where The Rain Is Green” is about dreaming of a place where things make more sense than in the world you’re in, and almost hoping beyond hope to make contact with it. And Peninsula isn’t just inspired by the country, he’s also inspired by Western, which evidences itself in the songs “Dead Renegade” and “I’d Rather Die With My Boots On.” And not to leave his Finnish fans in the lurch, and in a bid to be true to himself, the album ends with him singing and playing a country song in his native language.

The musicians who performed on this record also deserve kudos, including Henry B. Jones on bass guitar, Ilkka Jolma on pedal steel guitar, and Heikki Honkanen on harmonica. But Larry Peninsula played all of the guitars and drums on the record himself, which is astounding since the guitar work is one of the principle assets of it.

It should be the desire of every country music fan to break down whatever barriers persist in people’s hearts and minds, and let the best and most talented artists rise to the top regardless of who they are, or where they’re from. In a just world, an artist like Larry Peninsula and an album like Country Music Only would be reaching everyone with a love of country music in their hearts. Sure, some stuff is lost in the translation. But what is astounding is what is accomplished despite the language barriers and borders separating Larry Peninsula from the origin spot of country music. His passion and guitar work blazes through, and his songwriting holds up in any language.

Country music won’t be bordered, and Larry Peninsula is living proof.

Mary Marecek – Cotton Flowers

Bluegrass and gospel songs that capture the beauty of the farm life.
Album Notes
These original songs from the heart serve to share my love of God and the farm life through song. The farm and ranch life provides a great environment for writing music. I feel close to God when I’m surrounded by the land. My songs were written while driving the tractor or sitting on the porch in the evening. My hope is that these songs will uplift and inspire the listener.
“Rockin’ in The Cradle” is a song about driving the tractor
“I Love It When He Prays” captures the beauty of prayer in families.
“My Tractor’s Got A Soul” reached out to all romantics and classic tractor enthusiasts
“I Love To Pray” is a catchy gospel song that is good for church services.
“Love Letter” is written for a very special little girl named Carolinie who was and lost her adopted Mommy to heart failure when she was just 6 years old. My hope and prayer is that this song will restore the souls of all listeners.
“Hold Me In Your Heart” came to me one morning as a prayer put to song.
“Prayer Is Just A Song Away” is a gospel medley with an original chorus that is a hand-clapping, foot-stomper.
“Cotton Flowers” is an intimate song about a woman reaching out to God in song her desire to live the farm life.
“Wonderful Morning” is about a married couple’s appreciation of each other on a rainy morning. 

Ziggy Marley – Rebellion Rises

Rebellion Rises is Ziggy Marley’s seventh studio album as a solo artist. What makes his prolific ongoing output- a new studio release every two years or so- both continually relevant and critically notable is the way in which each latest effort builds on the prior entries in Marley’s illustrious catalog. It’s not that the multiple Grammy-winning singer morphs into a new character, or explores a new genre, so much as it is the unfolding experiences of the introspective journey that the reggae superstar is on; he’s gracious enough, almost reliably compelled, to take us with him.

In the case of this record, it’s less vicarious and free as its predecessors. This is one that’s more a call to action: Marley wants you involved. He has tucked, and sometimes shouted, message into most of his writing over three decades as reggae’s most prominent voice, but often it seemed more reporter, less recruiter. Writing, arranging, and producing this album himself, these ten tracks, with a few exceptions, are rallying cries for humanity. Yes, the cause remains love, but this time Marley is calling to unite all the rebels for the cause.

The album opens with the set’s most scathing indictment as a djembe rattles and horns shred their way through See Dem Fake Leaders. Marley’s son Gideon delivers a spoken-word bridge on The Storm is Coming, an autobiographical tracing of a phone call Ziggy and brother Stephen shared during hurricane season in Miami that plays as a metaphor for an encroaching political climate.

Synth claps and electric guitar lines cycle through World Revolution, that touches on racial discrimination, also marked by a rap on the bridge- this one from an intern, SamuiLL KalonjiMarleydiscovered at his record label office. The lighter empathy of Your Pain is Mine follows, with a verse melody reminding of an earlier Marley cut, Beach in Hawaii. Then, the arresting staccato Change Your World, utilizing the timeless boy-meets-girl backdrop as a metaphor for activism.

Ska-like horns color the bouncy, bright wish list of I Will Be Glad, as one of Rebellion’s sunnier tracks, both musically and lyrically. High on Life is a bit of a throwback, evoking the innocent charm of Marley’s former group, sibling sensations The Melody Makers, then, fittingly welcoming Stephen for the subsequent Circle of Peace, that affirms the cause and petitions the willing to realize their dreams now. With strumming acoustic guitar and delicate piano runs, I Am a Human works to shed the labels of race, religion, and politics, and return the focus to simple humanity.

The titular finale carries something of a core sentiment that has anchored Marley since the beginning. Even in the toughest of times, Ziggy Marley has remained optimistic. The minor-to-major-key shifting within the steady rock of this closer suggests a sense of sunlight emerging from the darkness; that love and peace will win the day.

Rebellion Rises is not an angry record. It is not a bitter record. But, it is not a record of hope, either. The time of hoping for change is a notion Marley considers past due. This is a record of action, and for Ziggy Marley, the time for action is now.