Songs of a Simple Life
RECORD LABEL:Pinecastle Records
The wait is finally over, as critically-acclaimed band Merle Monroe releases their highly-anticipated sophomore album, Songs of a Simple Life. Available via Pinecastle Records, the project includes 12 new recordings, each spotlighting the IBMA-nominated band’s signature style which is heavily influenced by music icons Bill Monroe and Merle Haggard.
Featured on the album is the latest single, “Goodbye Marie.” Written by Dennis Linde and Mel McDaniel, the lyrics perfectly fit the theme of the record. It was unveiled last week during a special edition of SiriusXM’s Sidetracks with host Kyle Cantrell. During the show, the band also exclusively premiered the entire project in-full for fans to hear for the very first time. Merle Monroe had another surprise earlier this week, when they also revealed another album cut called “Shelby Tell Me” on The Bluegrass Situation. Other standout recordings on Songs of a Simple Life include a must-hear rendition of “(I’d Be) a Legend in My Time” which showcases a different side of the band. Over the years, the track has been covered by country greats like Ronnie Milsap, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, etc.
To date, the record has already produced THREE number one radio hits. With the first release, “God’s Still in Control” being unveiled late spring of 2020, the song served as a leading inspiration to help get fans through the raging pandemic. It was followed by the second single “Hello Sunshine” last fall, which went on to top the Bluegrass charts for multiple weeks, becoming one of the group’s best charting songs. The track offered a glimmer of hope and optimism that was very much needed at the time. They also unveiled the hard-driving third single, “I’m Leaving Town Tonight” earlier this year which would spend multiple weeks in the top spot of the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart.
On Songs of a Simple Life, Merle Monroe is moving into new territory. Founded by members Tim Raybon and Daniel Grindstaff, they’re charging full steam ahead. Raybon has proven himself as one of the genre’s most promising songwriters. In addition to writing three Number One hits for Merle Monroe over the last year, the hitmaker took his craft to new heights on the new record, penning an impressive seven cuts. Playing on the record includes Tim Raybon (vocals, guitar, bass), Daniel Grindstaff (vocals, banjo), Derek Deakins (fiddle), Kent Blanton (bass), Stephen Burwell (fiddle), Andy Leftwich (mandolin), Harry Stinson (percussion), Trey Hensley (guitar), Kevin Richardson (guitar), Gaven Largent (resophonic guitar), Harry Clark (mandolin) and Josh Swift (resophonic guitar).
About the focus track, “Renae Rose” | The timbre of “Renae Rose” instantly draws close the listener, and with Merle Monroe’s signature harmony of Tim Raybon and Daniel Grindstaff making its introduction mere moments into the track, you know you’re in for a story. This melancholy tale of longing and daydreaming reminds us of that familiar place of wanting something you don’t necessarily feel is reality. As the band keenly puts it, “Better chance for July snow than the hand and heart of Renae Rose.”
About the gospel focus track, “Sing His Praises Forever” | Emerging bluegrass band Merle Monroe never shies away from an opportunity to share their gospel and spiritual roots. On “Sing His Praises Forever,” Raybon and Grindstaff display their signature harmonies and intentional grit on this Christian praise song wrapped up in a two-step, fast-grass banjo-led burner. The dynamic of the message along with the momentum of the acoustic, Appalachia-feel drive is a head-turner for sure, all while aiming to also turn hearts, too. (LISTEN)
KEY SELLING POINTS
- Their 2020 hit, "God's Still in Control," stayed #1 on the Roots Music Report for 7 consecutive weeks, while single "Hello Sunshine" also landed the #1 spot at Bluegrass Today
- 2020 IBMA nomination for New Artist of the Year