Snake River Records
Sometimes it just takes one line to make me fall in love with a song: “I got the long end of the shovel and the short end of the deal” decorates the first cut on Ben Winship’s new album of bluegrass and country fiddle music, Sure, all the young whippersnappers call this “roots rock” but this music was going decades before they even invented rock and roll. These are fiddle and banjo picking songs, undecorated by fancy electronic toys or auto tune.
“Shaking down the Acorns” is a virtuoso instrumental that zips along and shows Mr. Winship’s county credentials. Most of the other songs feature simple lyrics sung by the artist. “Katy Bar the Door” takes us to the Land of the Lonely and brings us back to the mountains in the spring. A slower but more complex song appears as “New River Train” with multiple time signature shifts and brief, telling lyrics about death and dying. “Turtle Dove sounds like call and response gospel songs, and “Fit To be tied” looks at the reality of life and death in a bright positive bluegrass fiddle tempo. There are 14 highly enjoyable tracks here, and I suggest you enjoy them all.