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DAVID WILLIAMS & The WILDGRASS BAND featuring KRISTINA MURRAY —THE CRAZY KIND (Trapdoor Media)

www.cdbaby.com/all/danjo53 www.myspace.com/davidwilliamssong
Bluegrass music with the usual dash and lots more —that is what you get with this album. For not only do we have the multi-talented David Williams who, apart from playing folk, bluegrass is a children’s author, and through his life-time love of the guitarist Django Reinhardt written a new musical / play about the jazz guitarist we also have as a bonus the delightful lead vocals of Kristina Murray. Who in turn conjures a little of the style of fellow bluegrass artiste Laurie Lewis, and like Lewis she crosses the folk country and bluegrass boundary in a seamless fashion.

With the vocal and acoustic guitar duties split between Murray and Williams (what a fine touch he has on guitar) with Katie Glassman (fiddle), Chris Elliott (banjo), Jordan Ramsey (mandolin) and Duane Webster (bass) in support the music is fresh and pure, and with a running time of over an hour the listener is well rewarded.

Other than Murray and a comparison to Laurie Lewis —the music of the Dry Branch Fire Squad comes to mind on many songs. The clever, and jaunty ‘Half Bad’ that speaks of being Jimmie Rodgers’ ‘lonesome’, Hank Williams ‘sad’ and Patsy Cline ‘kinda crazy’ could just as easily come from their catalogue. Staying on the subject of impressive tunes, the wonderful, shared vocal effort ‘Colorado’ that speaks of Murray’s adopted home it strikes a lonesome and at the same time descriptive chord of the rocky state.

Murray is given greater scope to shine early on. Which she most certainly does on the mid-tempo, free roaming lead off ballad ‘Annie Oakley’ that is soon followed by the melodic ‘You Gonna Lose Her’ and the racing banjo, bass and fiddle straight ahead bluegrass ‘Where Do Angels get Their Wings? You also have the beautiful, fiddle, mandolin and bass drenched swing (shades of Reinhardt?) delight ‘Cheyenne’ and that is not to forget the shared ‘Crazy Kind’ and ‘Paul’s Song’.

With space and tracks fast running out, Murray shows up well on the plaintive ‘Kitchen Table’ while Williams clocks in with arguably his best performance via ‘Heavenly Road’ and with banjo, mandolin and Murray tucked in alongside him ‘Redheaded Stranger’ creates an interesting sound. A bluesy sound you could imagine David Olney coming up with, and there is praise for you (David and co). To close, and fittingly so it is the beautiful tones of Kristina that lends a rare quality few are able to match on the story-ballad ‘Floodwater’ —that like all the other fine cuts was written by Dave!

What a find it was when I discovered the music of both and you too will no doubt feel that way once you have sampled just one song by the wonderful ensemble.
Maurice Hope


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Year 2016

1
Levi Parham
90 pts.
These American Blues
Music Road Records
GC,JBO,TK
2
Martha Fields
86 pts.
Southern White Lies
Independent
BP,BH,FB,JAB,RW,SP
3
Carter Sampson
75 pts.
Wilder Side
Independent/CRS
AN,CRS,JB
4
Anna Elizabeth Laube
65 pts.
Tree
Ahh...Pockets! Records
DH,NC
5
Michael McDermott
60 pts.
Willow Springs
Pauper Sky Records
BK,MM
6
Shovels & Rope
54 pts.
Little Seeds
New West
 
7
Robert Ellis
53 pts.
Robert Ellis
New West Records
DHO
8
Sturgill Simpson
52 pts.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Atlantic Records
JJ,JF
9
Douglas Greer
50 pts.
Baja Louisiana
Zilker Park Records
HDB,ML
10
Lucinda Williams
46 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
EM
11
Buddy Miller & Friends
44 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
 
12
Wink Burcham
43 pts.
Cleveland Summer Nights
Continental Song City
 
13
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
42 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
BR
14
Brent Cobb
41 pts.
Shine On A Rainy Day
Elektra Records
HH
 
Daniel Romano
41 pts.
Mosey
New West
CVL
 
Leonard Cohen
41 pts.
You Want it Darker
Sony Music
HO
17
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
A Village: Natural Light
Tapete Records
BM
18
Drive-By Truckers
39 pts.
American Band
ATO Records
AR,EZ
19
Birds of Chicago
38 pts.
Real Midnight
Five Head Entertainment
LM,SZ
20
John Prine
37 pts.
For Better, or Worse
Oh Boy Records
FS,MB
21
The Cactus Blossoms
36 pts.
You’re Dreaming
Red House Records
GS,HD
22
Richmond Fontaine
35 pts.
You Can’t Go Back
Décor Records
FCE
23
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Acony Records
LK,PR,TJ
24
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
Undercurrent
Sugar Hill
RM
25
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
Who Will Be Next?
Mudtown Crier Records
AL
 
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
New West

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