Apparently, being in one of the hottest bluegrass bands going wasn’t enough for Laura Orshaw, so she has put out a smoking solo album. Solitary Diamond is loaded with well-known guests, but make no mistake—it is the jumping fiddle and strong vocals of Orshaw that get showcased in this must-have CD.
There are a handful of tracks that will get most of the early attention, such as “On Her Own,” a hit-destined piece with Trey Hensley and “I Can’t Settle Down” with Jenee Fleenor and Brittany Haas. “After You,” “Hank” and “The Band of Jesse James” are sure to be crowd-pleasers as well.
However, “I’ll Trade You Money for Wine” is one of the best album-opening cuts I’ve heard in 2022 and “Veins of Coal” will strike a nerve with anyone who loves a good, haunting, bluegrass mining song.
Orshaw, who was the SPBGMA Fiddle Player of the Year in 2019, has a resume a mile long. In addition to playing powerhouse fiddle for the award-winning Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, she has played with the likes of Danny Paisley, Alan Bibey, Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, Sarah Jarosz, Tony Trischka and Becky Buller.
There are too many guests to name them all, but the list includes Hensley, Tim O’Brien, Alecia Nugent, Ronnie Bowman, Lindsay Lou, Fleenor and Haas. In addition, she gets instrumental help from Catherine Bowness, Reed Stutz, Casey Campbell, Eli Gilbert, Josh Rinkel and Tony Watt.
Solitary Diamond goes hard from top to bottom and one of the best solo efforts of the year. Orshaw is destined to make many future appearances on the IBMA winner’s stage and this CD provides plenty of support that the prediction is not bold.