Let Time Ride
Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers were clearly taking a shot that there’s still a place for a good old fashioned, traditional bluegrass album. They hit the bullseye.
In a time when bluegrass is growing and experimenting and crossing over into other genres, this group of consummate professionals has stuck with what they know best with Let Time Ride. It is a 12-song collection that is just plain fun from top to bottom, making it somewhat difficult to highlight in a short review. You can apparently judge a CD by the cover, as it features photographs from the childhoods of the five band members, mostly grinning while in the act of picking.
Simply put, Mullins, Chris Davis, Randy Barnes, Adam McIntosh and Jason Barie have produced what looks to be a big winner for Billy Blue Records. The title track opens the album features mandolin player Davis on lead vocals. In addition, the veteran banjoist Mullins sets the tone with a driving tempo that threads its way through each song, except the last one, a wonderful a capella gospel number, “It’s a Grand and Glorious Feeling.”
Other band members take turns on vocals and there is no slack. Let Time Ride also features some strong writing as well, with “I’ve Been Down That Road” (Larry Cordle and Jerry Salley), “The Glory Road” (co-written by Marty Stuart), “Big City”(co-written by Paul Williams) and “Scars in Heaven” (co-written by Christian music legend Matthew West).
“Black and White” is a nostalgic tune about the good old days, a kind of song listeners might expect from this group, especially those who couldn’t get enough of previous issue “Bacon in My Beans.”
“The Glory Road” take is a superb gospel number and “Old Fire” surely has to be destined for serious radio play, if nothing else than for the banjo kickoff. Not to be missed is the “End of the End of the World.”
If that seems like almost every track on this album was mentioned, well, that’s the point. Let Time Ride might be the best yet from this group and considering their track record, that’s no small claim.