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New Music Friday — May 8, 2020

JB & JAMIE DAILEY | Step Back in Time

Bluegrass; Pinecastle Records – STREAM / BUY album

For over two decades, Dailey & Vincent singer/songwriter Jamie Dailey has captivated audiences with his unique tenor voice. The chart-topper has won countless awards and is also an official member of the Grand Ole Opry. With the upcoming project, Step Back in Time, Jamie’s career is coming full-circle as he teams with his father JB, for a full length collaboration record. Released via Pinecastle Records, the album marks JB’s debut release.

The dynamic pair are returning to their roots, with JB stating, “I’ve always loved the old Bluegrass and Gospel songs that Jamie and I did growing up. I often thought of doing a CD, but could not have done it without Jamie’s encouragement and help. I hope you enjoy what we have put together on this recording.”

 

JB Dailey, Jamie Dailey, bluegrass, Pinecastle Records, Syntax Creative - image
 

Jamie adds, “It has been a true honor to produce, sing and play on my Dad’s record. I’ve been encouraging him for years to let me produce a CD with him and he finally agreed. Several years ago, my Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and it has taken its toll on him, especially when he plays guitar or dobro. Unfortunately, it can affect his voice at times. We took our time with this CD and recorded when he was feeling up to it.”

The lead single from Step Back in Time is the catchy, “Nobody’s Darlin’ But Mine.” The tune may sound familiar to some listeners, as the track was originally made famous by Country legend Merle Haggard. JB’s classic Bluegrass sounding voice shines bright, while Jamie’s harmony vocals pair perfectly with his father’s. The tune was written by well-known songwriter Jimmie Davis.

Step Back in Time includes 13 recordings, sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms Chicken. Featuring a combination of upbeat songs and slower ballads, the record is straight-ahead Bluegrass, paying homage to the genre’s founding forefathers. One standout is the Flatt & Scruggs standard, “Mother Prays Loud In Her Sleep,” which shows the softer side of the collection. Another highlight is the Gospel recording, “Vision of Jesus,” which was made famous by Jamie’s former boss Doyle Lawson, who gave the singer his start in the business in 1998.


BALSAM RANGE | “Richest Man”

Bluegrass; Mountain Home Music Company — STREAM / BUY single

Two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of The Year Balsam Range has an innate ability to create music that’s timely and poignant, relatable and honest. With their new single, “Richest Man,” the band that’s become a vital force in the roots genre shares an important lesson about recognizing what really matters.

“Richest Man” poses comparisons between material wealth and other kinds of abundance, challenging perceptions of what it means to be “the richest man in the graveyard.”

 

Balsam Range, bluegrass, Crossroads Label Group, Mountain Home Music Company, Syntax Creative - image
 

“Who has not thought about being the Richest Man? But what defines being rich? To have a life without regrets is easier said than done. The sacrifices made for gain can seldom be undone,” says Buddy Melton, Balsam Range’s fiddler and 2-time IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year. “The things lost and those won will only show with time. The old saying ‘You can’t take it with you’ comes to mind when I hear ‘Richest Man’ and the theme resonates throughout the song as it states ‘we’re all going out the same way that we came in…with nothing. So why in the world are we always worried about nothing, for nothing?’”

The western North Carolina quintet’s creative approach to arrangement has never been more apparent than it is here, where the elemental bluegrass force represented by Marc Pruett’s driving banjo is tempered with an innovative tempo shift that creates space for contemplation before returning with even greater intensity as the song closes.

Placing their instrumental prowess and mountain-grown harmonies at the service of the song’s message—“a hundred dollar bill folds just like a ten, and the fiddle plays ‘Amazing Grace’ just like a violin”—Balsam Range’s first new song since the release of the chart-topping Aeonic underlines what we all have common, at a moment when our universal humanity has never been more apparent.


ZOE & CLOYD | “Where Do You Stand”

Americana, bluegrass; Organic Records — STREAM / BUY single

As we navigate through a year already fraught with both ongoing and new, unanticipated crises, the need for dialogue and common ground has never been clearer. That’s the message of the new Organic Records single from Zoe & Cloyd, which sets its titular question—“Where Do You Stand?”—to a hard-driving, traditional-leaning bluegrass groove.

“‘Where Do You Stand’ is a commentary on the state of our national discourse,” says John Cloyd Miller of the powerful new original, written together with his wife and musical partner, Natalya Zoe Weinstein. “Often, it’s the farthest ends of the political spectrum that make the news and it seems like inflammatory rhetoric is the only thing that gets heard these days. I’d like for us to remember that we’re all connected and are more alike than we are different, no matter who tries to convince us otherwise. For us to move forward, we have to find common ground on which to build a path toward a sustainable future.”

 

Zoe & Cloyd, Americana, Crossroads Label Group, Organic Records, Syntax Creative - image
 

The single is the first new release from the duo and their band—banjoist Bennett Sullivan and bass player Kevin Kehrberg—since last fall’s full-length debut for Organic, I Am Your Neighbor. Produced by Jon Weisberger, the song kicks off with hard-edged fiddle that gives way to Miller’s equally biting lyric indictment of “voices in the chamber halls calling each other wrong” before Weinstein joins to harmonize with him on a memorable chorus built around the title’s urgent question. Fiddle and banjo engage in their own riveting dialogues as the lyrics wonder, “are we too dug in to face the truth, we’re getting nowhere fast.”

With “Where Do You Stand,” Zoe & Cloyd reaffirm their role as leading voices in a new generation of artists expressing the evolution of Southern Appalachian music and culture.


FRED JERKINS | “Reason to Praise” (feat. SEMAJE)

Christian, gospel; Fred Jerkins Music/DarkChild Gospel — STREAM / BUY single

Fred Jerkins III is a 5x GRAMMY and multiple Dove Award-winning producer, songwriter and artist whose production credits include the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, Brandy, Destiny’s Child, Mary J Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Toni Braxton, Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams and Vashawn Mitchell, just to name a few. As a “new artist,” Jerkins topped the 2019 Billboard Year-End charts as the #1 Top New Gospel Artist of the Year. “Uncle Freddie” has multiple Billboard #1 singles to his credit, including “The Boy is Mine” by Brandy and Monica was number one on Billboards highest ranked chart (The Hot 100) for 13 consecutive weeks, which is third longest running number one song of all time on that chart.

 

Fred Jerkins, SEMAJE, DarkChild Gospel, Syntax Creative - image


THE ROE FAMILY SINGERS | Roll Up the Rug

Bluegrass; Pinecastle Records — STREAM / BUY album

Pinecastle Records recording artists The Roe Family Singers are a good-time, old-time hillbilly band from the tiny community of Kirkwood Hollow, MN. Led by wife & husband Kim Roe (Best Female Vocalist, City Pages/Village Voice) and Quillan Roe (Accident Clearinghouse), the band marries old-time sounds from barn-dances, fiddle pulls, and county fairs with the rock & roll passion of youth.

 

The Rose Family Singers, Pinecastle Records, bluegrass, Syntax Creative - image