Since the passing of Bob Paisley in 2004, his son Danny Paisley, has carried on with “The Southern Grass,” a great traditional bluegrass band that first began performing in the early eighties. In the past twenty years Danny Paisley has managed to preserve his father's heritage, while at the same time evolving with his very own unique style. For me, this new record is the peak so far for Danny Paisley, and it's rightfully titled “Bluegrass Troubadour”.
With Bobby Lundy playing the bass, Mark Delaney on banjo, Matt Hooper on fiddle and son Ryan Paisley playing the mandolin, Danny Paisley has led the band into this new decade without giving up anything the band has stood for the last forty years. But what is more, he established a new, recognizable style of singing and arranging the songs he chooses.
The new album features new songs from Eric Gibson, Robert Amos and Brink Brinkman, as well as traditionals like “Eat At The Welcome Table,” standards like “Forty Years Of Trouble,” or Charlie Poole's “May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonight, Mister”. One of the highlights for me is the rolling “I'd Rather Live By The Side Of The Road,” by Albert E. Brumley. It perfectly suits the vibe of the band, and Danny's singing, as well as his known love for gospel tunes.
Also worth mentioning is the original instrumental written by Ryan Paisley, an up-tempo mandolin theme called “Fancy Gap Runaway” - it sure makes you want to hike in Virginia!
The previous album, “That's Why I'm Lonesome” on Tom Mindte's Patuxent Music was already one of my favorites in 2018. But this amazing record is so complete and shows such maturity. The Bluegrass Troubadour seems to have been here forever and is here to stay.
Reviewed by: Severin Theinert for Uncut Grass June 2021
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