Red Bird Records
Louisiana born Billy Droze comes to bluegrass from several tours with the country band Shendandoah with whom he toured under the name Billy Ryan. As a songwriter, Droze has crafted songs for numerous country and bluegrass acts including Shenandoah, Marty Raybon, Randy Kohrs, Junior Sisk, The Grascals, and Flatt Lonesome.
With his second bluegrass album Renaissance, Droze exhibits a powerful vocal style that falls somewhere on the same path as Josh Shilling (Mountain Heart) and Chris Stapleton (when he was with the SteelDrivers). With a distinctive gravel-tinged tone, Droze’s voice is the most powerful attribute of every song. And that is quite a statement considering the all-star band supporting the songs: Andy Leftwich (fiddle, mandolin), Scott Mulvahill (bass), Matthew Davis (banjo, guitar), along with Ronnie Bowman, Don Rigsby, and Marija Droze (backup/harmony vocals).
Droze co-wrote all of the songs on this album, with nine of the twelve co-written with Ronnie Bowman. All of the songs are well-crafted lyrically, melodically, and harmonically. Songs address common bluegrass themes such as trains, jail and chain gangs, love and heartbreak, and inspirational, but all of them are fresh and unique. Three tracks feature guest appearances by Tommy Emmanuel, Shenandoah, and The Isaacs. While the songs are nicely performed, the memorable part remains Droze’s powerful vocals. A very solid and nicely paced album. (www.billydroze.com)TK
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