VARIOUS ARTISTS, SONGS FROM LYON COUNTY
Gracey Holler Music
If you are one of the many of us who’ve watched the landscape we grew up in, a landscape inseparable from our sense of ourselves, gradually change to the point of unrecognizable, you will relate wholeheartedly to this powerful song collection by Lyon County, Kentucky tunesmith Dennis K. Duff.
While many of Duff’s heartfelt songs celebrate his western Kentucky homeland, some of the most moving of them mourn what has been lost to time and so-called “progress.” For instance, “Hey Mr. TVA” is much akin with its vivid imagery and brooding lamentation to John Prine’s classic “Paradise (Muhlenberg County).” The only difference is that the leveler of the land and destroyer of dreams in this doleful ballad is a federally owned conglomerate instead of a rapacious coal company.
The lovely “Road To Dover” mines a similar vein with its evocative power and painful nostalgia. It’s the kind of exquisite song that not only compels you to sing along, but also shed a tear or two while you’re doing it. Duff himself turns in excellent lead vocals on the two aforementioned numbers, along with two other selections. But he’s also assembled an all-star cast to flesh out his compositions on vocals and instrumentals.
Contributors include Paul Brewster (of Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder), Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Josh Shilling (from Mountain Heart), Cody Kilbyand IBMA award-winner Bradley Walker, along with newcomer, Holly Pitney, from the Mo Pitney band. As co-producers, Duff and Cody Kilby have captured some wonderful chemistry on additional standouts such as“Castle On The Cumberland,” “Iron Hill,” “Night Riders,” and “When I Leave Kentucky.” Allin all, this is really powerful stuff. (www.graceyhollermusic.com)BA