The Dark Side of Lonesome
The long-awaited second album by Edgar Loudermilk on Rural Rhythm Records is available as of March 2022. This is one you’ll surely want for your collection. The project contains thirteen tracks, eight of which Loudermilk authored, bringing his songwriting credits to over fifty, including the Daryle Singletary recording “Can’t Live Life” with Rhonda Vincent. No cabin songs here or heavy drinking ones either, but a little touch of yodeling on “The Dark Side of Lonesome,” the title track and first single, written by Edgar on the way home from a West Coast tour. The narrator sings about the reality of the dark side of lonesome when a woman sets him free.
The band has come together tightly with Edgar playing the doghouse bass and handling the lead vocals, Clint Coker on guitar, Curtis Bumgarner on banjo, and Zack Autry on mandolin and fiddle. The guest fiddle work is split between Michael Cleveland on three tracks and Hunter Berry on six others. Dylan Amour adds Dobro on three tracks and Jeff Partin plays Dobro on the closing track, “A Place To Call Home.” The band drives the old chestnut “John Henry” with Loudermilk enjoying himself on the lead vocals. Loudermilk shares lead vocals with Zack on “Just for Me,” and “Queen of Laramie.”
Two gospels numbers are included: “It Is Well With My Soul” from composer Philip Bliss in 1876, and “Just For Me,” a little known hymn from Rev W. L. Hopper.
Rural Rhythm released a third single, “I’m Going Home,” written with Zack Autry, about a guy always getting stood up by a girl who can’t be tamed. In anger the guy says, “I’m Going Home” as a little boy would in such a situation. This comes across as a fun song.
The rambling, gambling theme in many bluegrass songs is found in “The Deal That Won’t Go Down.” A change to a slower tempo is found in the moving “I Hope She Sings,” in which the singer is hoping his daugher will grow up unconfined by life’s burdens. Edgar wrote this one for his daughters when they were much younger, but the time is right now for a recording.
The album has something for just about every listener and can be enjoyed in about every setting. As always, Edgar and the band shine all the way on this excellent recording.