Sunday, May 17, 2015

CD: GREG HAGER - In The Valley Below

GREG HAGER
In The Valley Below
In The Valley Below - Be Who You Are - Cowboy Dreaming - The Way With Life - Storm - This Time - The Northern Land - Life Is A Ride - Nothing But Time - Medora - Baby Once Again - Not Every Hero
 
I've reviewed Greg Hager's CD before, as a matter of fact one of his fine pieces of work won a "CD of the Year" award from the Rural Roots Music Commission.  He's back again with another fine piece of musical work.  Greg is a close friend of Terry Smith, both of them consummate songwriters.  Greg wrote all this songs on this excellent CD, finely produced at the Gene Breeden Studios in Nashville.  It's Greg's fine voice, and fine writing however, that makes this work stand out.  This is a kind of cowboy-classic-traditional country sound.  None of that bizarre music 'called' country today, but of course it isn't.  This piece of work is what we should be hearing on the radio as 'real' country, and if Greg has his way and say, that is indeed what will happen to his original works.  This CD is also an excellent example of what Nashville studios can do with 'real' country music if given the chance to produce it.  Greg was also a fan and friend of the famous cowboy, Chris LeDoux.  One of LeDoux's famous sayings goes like this...."Life IS a ride!  You see, it isn't the destination, but the stops you make along the way that will determine if you ever truly lived.  It's the miles that make us, not the years.  The songs on this CD are especially meaningful because they tell OUR story."  Greg adds a super song ""Life Is A Ride" in honor of this belief.  This is the song I like best on this wonderful piece of work.  Wow, that couldn't be more meaningful than ever today, especially the sad state of affairs top-40 country music is in. Super good musicians on this session:  Greg is doing the vocals of course, and he plays a 12-string guitar.  Dave Signs on keyboard; Kraig Hutchens on acoustic, lead, and baritone guitar; John Heinrich on Dobro and pedal steel; David Russel on fiddle (especially nice on "Cowboy Dreaming") and mandolin (very nice on "Storm"); and Mike Dunbar on bass.  Greg's wife, Andrea does back-up harmony singing, along with Gene Breeden, Barry Wayne, and Diane Berry.  Super good production, should be on 'country' radio, wherever 'real' country is played.  A super line-up of great songs on this CD.  I think the last song on this CD (Not Every Hero) is one of the best 'story' songs I've heard in a very long time.  It is so sad to see what has happened to so-called country music today, and the very sad situation where works like this has such an incredibly difficult and hard road to be heard by a large number of Americans.  Hopefully this will change in the very near future, because Greg Hager is worth listening to.  Yes, Greg Hager is worth listening to, Nashville!
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International 
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