Monday, June 8, 2015

CD: BARRY WARD - Distant Furrows, Pickin' Plowin' & Playin'

Distant Furrows, Pickin' Plowin' & Playin'
Wheatfields - Crossing Jordan - Sonrise - Grandpa's Song - God's Perfect Love - Bloodline - Lord I Need You - Harvest In The Fall - My Blood Is In This Land - When I Grow Up - Dust In The Wind - Angel's Heart - Man I Used To Be - Prairie Wind - Statue In The Heat - Young Farmers and Ranchers - Farming Sun Blues - How Great Thou Art
Today's my lucky day.  I get to listen to some of the best songwriting and musical recordings I've heard in a long long time.  Barry Ward, and his lovely wife Victoria, make their home on a ranch in Colorado.  This has not prevented him from being a gifted country and western songwriter and recording artist.  My favorite song on this CD is "When I Grow Up" as it demonstrates the very real validity of a beautiful male voice, singing a really beautiful self-written song.  Reminds me that perhaps when Barry was just a young boy, he said to his mother..."Mom, when I grow up, I want to be a songwriter." and his mother promptly replied, "Son, you can't do both, so pick one."  I'm really really glad Barry Ward didn't grow up.  This CD is without a doubt his very best work....ever.  He also, besides that beautiful voice, as so well represented on this same song, has the ability to pick his backing and pick it aptly and beautifully.  Barry plays rhythm guitar, and adds Joe Stephenson on fiddle (which he applies so liberally and beautifully to 'When I Grow Up"), as well as acoustic guitar and bass; Allan Blackwell on cello, guitar and percussion; Ernie Martinez on dobro, clawhammer banjo, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Lewis Mock on harmonica acoustic and electric guitar; Jimmy Lee Robbins on acoustic guitar; Sue Link on fiddle; Jory Lane on cello; and lots of those same folks singing harmonies.  Anyone who likes original and traditional country music can see from this instrumentation line-up that this is the 'real-deal.'  Barry writes about some incredibly important topics on many American's minds these days. What happened to our beautiful past, and what is ahead for us in this tumultuous world we live in today.  Barry posts a warning on his CD cover...."WARNING excessive consumption of this music may result in wavy plow lines, giving up your box seats at the 3i show and trading in the ol' chisel for a new pickup truck."  He doesn't stray far from the ranch does he?  But as an afterthought he adds..."RX prescribed in one large dose taken daily."  That's exactly what I'm doing today, listening to a magnificent male human being that writes and sings his soul.  Totally!  My deepest regrets Barry, for the immense stupidity that exists in America's 'commercial' country music today.  In the meantime, off this wonderful CD goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their consumption, and I'm sure it's going to be a big dose.
for Country Music News International
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