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CD Review: Cedar Hill - By Request

By Request
Journey of Faith - I Beg To You - On Hobo's Wings - Broke Hearts Are Real - Pearl's Song - Ice On The Timber - False Hearted Love - Heartaches and Teardrops - Echo Mountain - Mary O'Grady - Dusty Miller - For Me it's Hello

Cedar Hill is one of the very best 'original' Bluegrass bands in the State of Missouri.  An old friend, Frank Ray is the mandolin picker leader, and he is also one terrific songwriter, expertly suited to Bluegrass music.  He wrote no less than seven of these incredible songs on this 50-year tradition CD.  What's also a real treat here is the vocals by several of the members; Frank Ray, Jim Bunch, Patti LaFleur, and Dan Stokely.  We know who they are, but we don't know which song they are singing on  But that's all right.  They are all exceptionally wonderful vocalists for this genre of music, which is important today to Christians, because these beautiful songs are exactly what we need to hear in this time of despair and exploitation in our beautiful country.  We've been blanketed with a kind of negative despair that continues to expose us to hatreds we never believed could exist in this last country of liberty on planet earth.  Cedar Hill makes it all perfectly clear with "On Hobo's Wings" a song by Thomas Gardiner.  Wow, it don't get much more 'real' than that short sermon with incredible acoustic music makers. These musicians have been together for a time, and that is apparent in the way they play their music.  Like I said, Frank Ray is on mandolin, and indeed he is ON mandolin; Jim Bunch is a nice straight forward banjo, and doesn't overdo it, he keeps it right in line with what they are singing....and saying.  Pete Brown is on fiddle, smooth and tasty just like it should be, also like the way he's 'mixed' into the music mixture by Jim Bunch at the Palm Recording Studio in Rogers, Arkansas.  Patti LaFleur is on upright bass, and she sounds just right.  She doesn't use this instrument as a 'lead' instrument, she plays it exactly as it was meant to be played in Bluegrass music.  Ferrell Stowe is on the Dobro (or resonator guitar) and the Oahu.  Three super guitarists playing some mighty acoustic instruments, Bobby Minner, Britt McGarity, and Don Smith.  What an extremely beautiful experience to hear this band doing their 'thing' mainly making absolutely beautiful Bluegrass music in a little different style, but staying to the genre, making anyone listening 'shiver to the bone.' It's also a complete 'message' found in these original words, written exactly as they were meant to be written.  The words that float through our minds, that eventually find themselves written on a piece of paper, eventually find themselves becoming a musical experience, eventually find themselves in the ears and minds of people who need them most in this time of trial and tribulation all Christians are experiencing today.  Thank you so much Lord Jesus Christ for making this possible.  Thank you Frank Ray and Cedar Hill for 'sharing' what only you can hear before you hear it.  God Bless You.  Off this goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their CD of the Year awards.  Not too late for this year's selections.
www.music-savers.com RECORD REVIEW BY Bob Everhart, President, National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International

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