Nathan Stanley is a third-generation musician, four if you count his grandfather, Ralph Stanley’s mother who was a banjo player that influenced the famed award winning legend.
Stanley’s choice of material on what is his third album, he made his first while still only aged 14 is excellent. With him more Ricky Skaggs in his music and vocal styling and even more like the late Keith Whitley (who like Skaggs cut his teeth playing with Stanley) than Ralph at eighteen the age he was at the time of making this record is a rare, budding talent. As the years pass he will no doubt become a more authoritative vocalist as he gains his feet in the business and not be judged against others as he inevitable will be on the generous 21-track recording. For the album is a selection of tried and trusted fare covered by more people than one could shake a stick at.
Nathan has a wealth of country acts join him and the fact alone people like Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and veteran acts Gene Watson, John Anderson, Connie Smith and ‘Little’ Jimmy Dickens coupled with bluegrass pickers and singers too this is some album. Defying his tender years he repeatedly leaves his own, inimitable mark on the songs.
Of the tracks that attracted my attention and retained it you could list such gems as ‘May the Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose’, ‘I’d Love To Lay You Down’ (w/ John Anderson), and with the aforementioned Dr Ralph ‘The Darkest Hour Before Dawn’ plus his pairing with Watson on ‘Don’t Let Me Cross Over’ and the entertaining duet with Ben ‘Cooter’ Jones on ‘Act Naturally’. On giving the record several careful listening I gravitated more and more to his wonderful versions of ‘Long Black Veil’ and ‘Why Baby Why’. Both of which have seen more covers than you could shake a stick but with the young Stanley singing at the top of his game they come through in great fashion. His poise and emotional styling on the former that has Marty Stuart join him is worthy of high praise, as a star-studded cast aid a bright young star in the making.
Add a Comment