Lonesome River Band, “Mayhayley’s House”
The Lonesome River Band has come a long way since its formation in 1982 — and seen a lot of personnel changes. But the banjo of Sammy Shelor has defined the band’s sound for its 35-year history.
And despite the occasional drums and pianos in its albums, the band’s sound is still mostly traditional.
The new album, “Mayhayley’s House,” takes its title from a song about Amanda Mayhayley Lancaster, a self-proclaimed oracle, lawyer and farmer who died in 1955.
“Old Coyote Town,” a country hit for Don Williams in 1989, tells the story of an old man who’s settled into a Texas town that’s slowly dying.
“Hickory Holler Times and County News” finds a man looking through his hometown weekly newspaper for a picture of a friend, only to discover that it’s a picture of the guy’s wedding to the singer’s high school flame.
“Blackbirds and Crows” is a murder ballad about a man who kills his wife before she can leave him.
“Wrong Road Again,” a country hit for Crystal Gayle in 1974, gets a bluegrass treatment here.
“As Lonesome As I Am” finds the singer still believing that love will someday find him.
“Diggin’” tells the story of a man fighting to keep his head above water financially.
“It Feels Real Good Goin’ Down” finds a man drinking wine and trying to forget a woman.
It’s another good album by a band that’s had a lot of success since Ronald Reagan was in his first term in the White House.
Eddy Raven With Carolina Road, “All Grassed Up”
Edward Futch, better known to country music fans as Eddy Raven, cut his first record in 1962.
He went on to rack up more than 35 hits on the country charts between 1974 and 1990.
Now, at 72, Raven is trying his hand at bluegrass with “All Grassed Up,” an album with Lorraine Jordan &Carolina Road.
The songs are, for the most part, classic Eddy Raven country with a bluegrass beat. There’s “Thank God For Kids,” the song he wrote for the Oak Ridge Boys. And there are the Raven hits of yesteryear — “Bayou Boys,” “I Should Have Called,” “I Got Mexico,” “Who Do You Know In California,” “Operator Operator,” “Island” and “Sooner or Later.”
There’s also a Raven song, “Good Morning Country Rain,” that’s been recorded by several bluegrass artists.
There’s a bluegrass chestnut, “Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”
The title cut is a new song written by Raven and David Stewart.
Stewart also wrote the song, “Too Wet To Plow.”
Jordan and Carolina Road give the album the bluegrass licks it needs. If you’re an Eddy Raven fan, you’ll want this album. If you’re not familiar with his work, check it out.
— Keith Lawrence, Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer