BRANDON LEE ADAMS
Adams is an interesting songwriter having written the 11 pieces here. He’s backed by talented session men as he drives through the program with ease on vocals and guitar. He comes out sounding a bit like a young Elvis with his voice ensconced in reverb on the title-cut. Then they move forward with contemporary bluegrass on “Vagabond.” His nostalgic “Those Were The Days” is filled with pensive reflection.
The backing band includes an interesting array of pickers. Sammy Shelor on banjo, Aaron Ballance on resonator guitar, and Meade Richter on some mighty sweet fiddle are joined by Zac McLamb who lays down solid bass and Forest O’Connor who lays down some tasty mandolin. Carl Jackson and Rob Bolling add backup vocals.
It’s an interesting choice that Adams uses bluegrass as a vehicle for his music. He often sounds like a rural, Southern version of the folk singers who roamed the scene decades ago. This combination works well, as we’re treated to some mighty fine songs, hot guitar from Adams, and equally hot and tasteful picking from the other bandmembers as they jam it up on the outro to “Lessons Learned.”
Acclaimed by Tony Rice as someone he liked to play with because his style was so different from his, it’s heartwarming to hear Adams’ ideas on the guitar in a bluegrass context. He has a distinctive way of bringing a new mood to each song. There’s a depth to this material that grows on you with continued listening. Pop influences meld into a bluegrass setting, but don’t take away from the song as it still retains its bluegrass style. This gem of a recording contains hidden little nuggets that reveal themselves through Adams’ tenor voice and his individual style on the guitar. (www.brandonleeadamsmusic.com)RCB