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New Music Friday — October 30, 2020

BECKY BULLER | Distance and Time

Bluegrass; Dark Shadow Recordins – STREAM / BUY album

Becky Buller is a 2-time GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter, 8-time IBMA Award Winner, and 2020 SPBGMA Fiddle Player of the Year Award-nominee. She made bluegrass music history in 2016 by becoming the first artist ever to win in both instrumental and vocal categories, as well as the first female to win Fiddle Player of the Year by the IBMA.

 

 

About the focus track | “Don’t Look Back,” the opening track to Buller’s latest LP, is a wholesome reminder to keep putting one foot in front of another & to always move ahead…no matter how hard the road has been. A medium-tempo strummer, Buller’s vocals blends perfectly w/the soothing instrumentation & the hybrid half-time groove really forces the listener to dig in & experience the song on all levels.


LONESOME RIVER BAND | “That’s Life”

Bluegrass; Crossroads Label Group – STREAM / BUY single

After nearly four decades, the award-winning Lonesome River Band can look back at a career filled with hits that have become as firmly entrenched in the bluegrass parking lot pickers’ songbook as any first generation classic. And though many of its members have long since gone on to other ventures, the band’s quintessential musical hallmarks—hard-grooving rhythm, sparkling banjo, distinctive leads and smooth, yet muscular harmonies—have not just survived but matured, and always in service of the song.

With “That’s Life,” the first new follow-up to 2019’s Outside Looking In, the quintet returns with a song that fits not only this tumultuous moment, but any time that we pause to consider the ups and downs of our personal journeys. Cast as a look back at the narrator’s path to lasting love and family, the song unreels in almost cinematic terms, as he endures heartbreak on the way to finding “the girl God had in mind when He made me” and then to fulfillment as a new parent.

 

 

“I wrote this song years ago with my friend Billy Droze,” says lead singer Brandon Rickman. “I wanted it to be an authentic telling of losing and finding love. There is a lot of my own story in there, but it’s also a story I hope folks can relate to as a realistic one about the struggles that we all go through. Many of us experience a long road to love, with many ups, downs, twists and turns—but as we all know, that’s life.”

Like so many of the Lonesome River Band’s most memorable songs, “That’s Life” foregoes blistering tempo for a relaxed, yet unstoppable groove that lets the melody breathe and draws attention to the words and story. Still, there’s plenty of room for the quiet virtuosity that’s another of the band’s signature elements, and whether it’s Sammy Shelor’s rippling banjo rolls, the sympathetic fiddling of Mike Hartgrove, the steady pocket of the rhythm section—Rickman on guitar, mandolinist Jesse Smathers and bass player Barry Reed—or the polished harmonies from Rickman, Shelor and Smathers, the band works together so tightly that it’s almost as if they’d been playing together for all those decades.

From start to finish, “That’s Life” is a distillation of the Lonesome River Band’s enduring appeal—strong, rooted in tradition, yet fresh and dynamic—telling the world that, while years have already passed, the best of the Lonesome River Band may still lie ahead.


THE KINGSMEN | “The Winds and Waves Still Know”

Southern Gospel; Crossroads Label Group – STREAM / BUY single

The legendary gospel quartet The Kingsmen has a long legacy of sharing the good news through important songs, and seeing lives change for Christ when their music connects with hearts in need. With their latest single, “The Wind and Waves Still Know,” The Kingsmen deliver a message of hope in the most difficult of times.

Written by the team of Kenna T. West, Kristi Fitzwater and Jason Cox, the powerful ballad tells the story of Jesus teaching his disciples to strengthen their faith by walking on water, a poignant reminder for today of who remains in control of our lives, no matter the turbulence.

 

 

“Uncertainty and facing the unknown is a reality of life. We feel the winds of change in our marriage, sending our kids off to school or college, job-loss, retirement. It’s everywhere. I’m reminded of the scripture, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’” says Chris Bryant, who sings lead on the song. “It’s a comfort to know that the Master has gone before us and He knows the end result. We can trust that, just as He calmed the storm for his disciples on the Sea of Galilee, He’s also prepared to cease our turbulent billows of life. Why worry? Just remind your storm what the wind and waves still know.”

Produced by Jeff Collins, “The Wind and Waves Still Know” shines with the quartet’s renowned creativity. Bryant is joined by tenor Chris Jenkins, baritone Alan Kendall, and bass Ray Dean Reese in a gripping display of the familiar spirit and dynamism for which the group is known. Yet even as it offers echoes of the quartet’s classic performances in days gone by, the song’s modern construction and crisp arrangement showcase the Kingsmen’s mastery of a more intricate, contemporary style.

The more it rains, you’re finding it harder to believe.
But just remember, He’s in control while you are fighting to stay afloat.
That raging sea was under His feet 2000 years ago.
So just remind the storm what the wind and waves still know…

At a time when so much seems in doubt, a reminder of what “The Wind And Waves Still Know” is a message that can serve all, and the Kingsmen proclaim it with a combination of power and finesse that is all their own.


DALE ANN BRADLEY | “Falling Down”

Bluegrass; Pinecastle Records – STREAM / BUY single

The two-time GRAMMY-nominated, five-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year songstress and instrumentalist Dale Ann Bradley returns with a new solo single after her powerhouse duo release with Tina Adair, Oh Darlin, from early 2020. This Pinecastle Records artist brings years of songwriting and stage-gracing experience, including the Grand Ole Opry and more.

 

 

About | “Falling Down” is an often-told story of taking chances in life. An interesting dichotomy occurs w/Bradley’s signature, sultry vocals—resounding of years & wisdom—is married w/the notion of a fledgling risk taker. It all makes sense in the Chorus: “How am I ever going to fly if I’m scared of falling down?” Is Bradley encouraging someone else, or letting her own inner-voice sing out?


AMANDA COOK | “Lonesome Leaving Train”

Bluegrass; Mountain Fever Records – STREAM / BUY single

Mountain Fever Records announces the release of brand new music from Amanda Cook “Lonesome Leaving Train” is available today!

Radio broadcasters are calling this Cook’s best song yet. That’s a big statement after the last three power-packed records from this tight and talented band. Maybe it’s because Amanda herself claims it to be her favorite of their new material, giving it an even stronger presence? It’s about a woman following loves call and not meeting her desired destination. She ends up taking her own life and some say she still haunts the train station.

 

Tap/Click to listen on Apple Music’s Southern Craft playlist (added 10/30/20)

“I started writing ‘Lonesome Leaving Train’ at a festival in 2009. That night after seeing some incredible bands and jamming late into the evening I couldn’t get the story of the song off my mind. I was wide awake in the camper until I finished the lyrics. I held it in my notebook for 9 years until we started pulling material for the new album. I worked on it a little more and decided that I needed some help. I reached out to Thomm Jutz, one of my favorite current writers. He’s such a great writer and knows my voice and what I look for in songs for my albums. He put the finishing touches on the lyrics and worked up an incredible melody! The arrangement in the studio brought it all together and now, ‘Lonesome Leaving Train’ is my favorite track off the new album Narrowing the Gap.” —Amanda Cook


YANCY & LITTLE PRAISE PARTY | “Don’t Monkey Around with the Devil”

Children’s, kids; Yancy Ministries – STREAM / BUY single

With boundless energy, a myriad of creative channels, and an unflinching heart for people at every turn, Yancy is rapidly becoming a premiere destination for uplifting entertainment and church resources used all across the globe. With the addition of her Little Praise Party series—now with an app that offers resources in English and Spanish—Yancy Ministries has the church at-large covered and fit for any age to be involved creatively.

 

 

About | The rockabilly styled “Don’t Monkey Around with the Devil” will be one you can dance and rock-out to. The clear message is proclaimed that when you say “no” to sin you win. Use this song to teach right from wrong and how our choices matter. When we choose to live, do and speak right things it is life giving.


WE ARE ONE | SEVEN (Recomplete)

Christian; Mainstay Records – STREAM / BUY EP

Born in the pastures of a town you’ve never heard of, WE ARE ONE emerged on the scene as small town boys with a big sound. A music and worship ministry based out of Gateway Assembly in Imlay City, MI, their vision has always been to use music, media, and creative elements to equip and encourage the local church to reclaim its voice in an increasingly loud culture. A group of not simply musicians but pastors, artists, filmmakers, writers, Super Smash Bros. experts and wannabe stand-up comedians—WE ARE ONE is the sound of a group of nobodies from nowhere refusing to be told that nothing good comes from Nazareth.

 

 

About the focus track | Kicking off a new collection of remixes (“recompletes”) from their 2018 debut EP SEVEN, the aptly titled “THIS IS JUST THE START” showcases the impressive production value & dance/club-style arranging from this band of indie musicians & sets the tone emphatically for the project as a whole. This super-hyper composition fits energetic tastes from Avicii to Zedd & everything in between.


EAST RIDGE BOYS | “Oh Dear Sinner”

Bluegrass; Mansion Entertainment – STREAM / BUY single


CHARLES MOORER & THE FAITHFUL FEW | Keeper of My Soul

Christian hip hop, rap; CLG Distribution – STREAM / BUY EP


BROTHER AL | Reset the Church

Christian hip hop, rap; CLG Distribution – STREAM / BUY album


RELEASED TUESDAY, OCT. 27:

JUSTIN MOSES | “Taxland” (feat. Sierra Hull)

Bluegrass; Mountain Fever Records – STREAM / BUY single

Named 2018 Dobro Player of the Year by the IBMA, Justin Moses is widely becoming known as one of the finest multi-instrumentalists in acoustic music. Other recent accolades and appearances put him on stage alongside Ricky Skaggs at the 2018 CMA Awards in addition to being featured in the PBS special Country Music: Live at the Ryman in conjunction with Ken Burns’ Country Music documentary in 2019.

 

 

About | Mountain Fever Records announces the release of a brand new single “Taxland” featuring Sierra Hull from Justin Moses’ upcoming album Fall Like Rain. We believe if IBMA had a multi-instrumentalist award, Moses would have been the 2020 winner! As it was, spectators this year saw him take home the trophy for Resophonic Guitar Player Of The Year. This all-instrumental track was composed by Justin Moses in 2018 during tax season. Soon after, he and wife Sierra Hull started to play “Taxland” as a duo, thoroughly enjoying it’s back-and-forth mandolin conversation. Here we have the result of its first official recording with Justin and Sierra on mandolin, Bryan Sutton on guitar, Michael Cleveland on fiddle, and Barry Bales on acoustic bass.


SIVION | “Blinders”

Hip hop, rap; Illect Recordings – STREAM / BUY single

Sivion & Antonio Huntington team up on this jazzy uptempo record. The world is full of darkness right now w/racial injustice, a worldwide pandemic, political mass confusion, tons of hate, depression, disunity & isolation. But through it all, we are called to be light in the darkness.

DS like C.S. Lewis 5 times like the lion we the meekest / You can be the witch and get defeated with no pretense. In the wardrobe expensive clothes be your weakness / You can find us chillin at the thrift store we gon get more. We gon dig and put the vinyl on these beats and make these hits more / Unity within our city’s what we been for. So Roger that and keep truckin that’s a 10-4 / Like some mentors givin advice to a ray of sunshine cuz we’re twice as bright / We’re blinders

 

 

About | Sivion is an emcee gifted with a conversational style, which musically fuses jazz and funk to touch the lives of those who cross paths with the art. With ties to Gaithersburg, MD he currently resides in Dallas, TX and has been a staple in the DFW hip hop scene since the mid 90’s. In the early 2000’s, he joined forces with super crew, Deepspace5, which platformed his transition into a solo artist.


WILSON BANJO CO. | “Wrong Turn that Led Me to You”

Bluegrass; Pinecastle Records – STREAM / BUY single

Three years to the day of his last album release for Wilson Banjo Co., multi-talented banjo extraordinaire Steve Wilson drops a brand new, original song on Pinecastle Records.

“Wrong Turn that Led Me to You” is a poignant tale of the wrong turns made in life, ultimately leading us to the right place. The tragic story in this song unfolds into one of remorse and regret that opens the doors to faith and forgiveness. An original song by Steve Wilson, and supported by an all star cast of vocalists and musicians, ‘Wrong Turn’ provides clarity and hope in a world where we can all feel a little lost at times.

 

 

The respectable list of players on the new single include: Colton Rudd (lead vocal), Sarah Logan and Scott Burgess (harmony), Richard Bennett (guitar), Steve Wilson (banjo), Glen Crain (reso-guitar), Blake Young (mandolin), and Michael “Porkchop” Branch (bass). The album was recorded and produced by Steve at Bonfire Recording Studio, over this past summer. You can learn more about how Steve came to meet and make music with these fine folks on his song stories webpage.

“With the COVID-19 downtime this year, I was able to get back to writing more and focusing on the new project,” said Wilson. “This album has a special meaning, in that I have included brilliant musicians and vocalists that I have worked with under all of the many hats I wear. Rather than a ‘band’ album, we refer to it as a ‘company’ release! I have been so privileged to be in the BEST company for the last eight years and it has continued to this day! With my bluegrass family, I have recorded albums for and with them, built banjos for them and been blessed to share a stage with them. The new record called, Six Degrees of Separation, not only boasts amazing artists, but you will also enjoy a broad scope of music and something for everyone. Bluegrass is a small world and we are all or will all connect at some point in our careers! I believe it! I’m looking forward to sharing each song and it’s story, as well as my ‘six degrees’ connection to the players!”