LARRY STEPHENSON BAND
Whysper Dream Music
Larry launched his own band in 1989, which may seem just a short time ago to those of us who have followed his career with the likes of Bill Harrell and The Bluegrass Cardinals, to mention just two. Now, we’re listening to a project that celebrates 30 years leading a band. Larry’s clear, high-pitched voice is still as wonderful as ever and sounds no less for wear.
The recording contains some covers of prior material, but with new members of the band: Derek Vaden on banjo and harmony vocals; Nick Dauphinais on guitar and harmony vocals; and Matt Wright on upright bass and harmony vocals. All turn in the sound we’ve come to expect during Larry’s career as we remember “Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes,” “Journey’s End,” “Love Lifted Me,” “Two Hearts On The Borderline,” “Timber, I’m Falling In Love,” and “Just When I Needed You Most.”
Larry shows his writing skills on a collaboration with Glen Duncan that results in “Blue Memories,” “Who Are They?” with Donna Ulisse, and the one currently getting airplay, “Two Ol’ Country Boys Like Us” co-written and sung with Ronnie Bowman. He demonstrates his solo writing on “I Was Bluegrass (When Bluegrass Wasn’t Cool).” All fit the project nicely.
Liner notes refresh our memories as to just how many bluegrass greats have performed with Larry, including banjoists Bill Emerson, Kristin Scott Benson, Aaron McDaris, Dale Vanderpool, and Kenny Ingram. The list gets too long to cover everyone in this limited space, but don’t forget fiddlers Jason Barie, Mike Feagan, Josh Green, and Adam Haynes. Larry is to be congratulated on not only reaching the 30-year mark as a bandleader, but also holding up the highest professional standards in his recordings and appearances. He’s a credit to our industry. (www.larrystephensonband.com)BW