Doyle Lawson is not only prolific, this is his 34th release with Quicksilver, but also a standard bearer producing bluegrass that's quintessential in its modes and manners. He plays mandolin and sings with an elan and gusto that defines the heart and borders of the esteemed genre but also gathers backers who can turn a tune on a dime and harmonize like haloed rough angels. Lawson's life was decided when, as a child, he heard Bill Monroe, another mando picker, on the Grand Ol' Opry show on the radio, and has since done Unka Bill proud.
As is the case in bluegrass, you get Surgeon-General mandated MDR (Minimum Daily Requirement) dose of gospel tucked away within the highkickin' energy and brio of the form, as well as a ballad or three (Ain't a Woman Someone When She's Gone, etc.), and, in the liner notes, Lawson first thanks God and Jesus before all others, but what would bluegrass be without that element? A far cry from what we know. The rest of the songs are concerned with the reg'lar Joe and Josephine, the working man and woman, the salt of the Earth and their trials, tribulations, and pleasures. Through it all, each cut is a template for what established this kind of music as a seminal style of American music in the first place, 100% genuine, heartfelt, and polished.
Name whomever you wish as the shining stars of the form but Doyle Lawson had better be in there somewhere or yer sadly lacking there, Jeeter. His cover of the inimitable Marty Robbins' Call Me Up and I'll Come Callin' on You is resplendent in its good-time, down home, ain't-it'great-to-be-alive high spirits, and Quicksilver weaves itself sharp as a tack throughout the disc, a tightly functioning unit well matched to Lawson's deadly accurate musicianship and singing. When it comes to gents who are keeping it lit so that more than one generation will be able to exactly know the whys and wherefores of this style, it's very hard indeed to do better than this guy and his work.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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