Lonesome River Band - Talkin' To Myself

Talkin' To Myself

Lonesome River Band

SUG CD 3913

Sugar Hill Records, Inc.
PO Box 55300
Durham, NC 27717-5300

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price
(al@squirrelheads.com)

A couple of years ago, Lonesome River Band made a trip to Tacoma, Washington's Wintergrass Bluegrass Festival, and a friend and I were lucky enough to see them. Part of the way through their set, fiddler Jason Carter (of the Del McCoury Band) joined them. "You know," I said to my friend, "that fiddle sure adds a lot to their sound." Not to say that they didn't have a great sound without it - quite the contrary.

Apparently they thought the same, for when they returned to Wintergrass this year, they had new fiddler (and old friend) Rickie Simpkins with them. With Talkin' To Myself now out, you can hear it for yourself.

The Lonesome River Band has long been one of the finest contemporary bluegrass bands around. In fact, they have long been one of the finest bands around, period. Wildly popular in bluegrass circles, few people outside of bluegrass have yet to recognize these gentlemen for the fine band they are.

When a new release comes out from them, one always approaches it with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. In fact, I remember writing in my review of their last album, "I can't wait to see what these guys do next." Still, the previous album is always so great, it seems unfair to compare it to the new release. But they always top it with an even greater effort. And so it is with Talkin' To Myself.

The Lonesome River band has a knack for coming up with superb material, and this album is no exception. They get traditional with Down In The Willow Garden, Curly Ray Cline's and Ralph Stanley's Dog Gone Shame, and Mary Ann, a tune made famous by Jimmy Martin. Other tunes include the title number, co-written by bass player Ronnie Bowman, and my personal favorite Harvest Time, a tale of "stealing corn (for moonshine) from Homer Lawson's field." The Lonesome River Band has a gift for making a brand new song sound like it's been around awhile, and for making an old tune sound fresh and new.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. This is a great album. I can't wait to see what they'll do next.

Selections:

  • Swing That Hammer (Bill Castle)
  • Talkin' To Myself (Ronnie Bowman & Craig Marker)
  • Dog Gone Shame (Ray Cline & Ralph Stanley)
  • The Place Where You Can Bury Me (Gerald Ellenburg)
  • No One Can Love You Dear (The Way I Do) (Craig Marker & Gerald Ellenburg)
  • Mary Ann (Johnny Stills & Lonnie Treat}
  • Are You Ashamed To Call Me Darlin'
  • Harvest Time (Carol Dunham, William Emerson & Lewis Moore)
  • The Crime I Didn't Do (Wayne Winkle & Craig Marker)
  • Willow Garden (PD)
  • Do You Want To Live In Glory (Mark Gainer)
  • I Won't Be Calling For You (Mark Gainer)

Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz

Copyright 2000, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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