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CD Review: Mary Rachel Nalley - Headed Back To Bowling Green

Headed Back To Bowling Green
Turkey In The Straw - Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff - Headed Back To Bowling Green - Just Another Man - Peacock Rag - Tennessee Flat Top Box - Faded Love - I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You - Down, Down, Down - My Old Kentucky Home - Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - Doing It By The Book - Washington County

Wow, if you like a 'hot' 'Turkey In The Straw' here it is.  It's fast, it's bluegrass' it's hot.  I really enjoyed hearing the banjo and acoustic guitar keep up with the tempo Mary set at the beginning of this song.  If you like old-time fiddle, this is it.  If you like good bluegrass fiddle, this is it.  If you like traditional country fiddle this is it.  What's more, Mary Nalley has the perfect voice for bluegrass music, and those songs she sings as the lead vocalist is quite remarkable.  I can understand why she chose "Headed Back To Bowling Green" as the main song and title of the album.  Perfect female voice and good harmony from her pickers.  Kody Norris is a friend, he was on the LeMars National Old Time Music Festival in 2017.  Here he is playing guitar, high string guitar, resonator mandolin, and regular mandolin; Tom Isaacs on banjo and twin fiddle on "Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff." Tim Norris on bass; Josiah Tyree on baritone vocals, and Tyler Wiseman on Tenor vocals.  Even Buck Trent gets to do set on this terrific album of super good traditional bluegrass. Buck Trent plays his electric banjo on "Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff."  Another guest is the amazing fiddler Michael Cleveland who lays twin fiddles with Mary on "Peacock Rag."  Wow, Kenny Baker look out, this is fiddling at its very best.  His 'Washington County' is well presented by Mary.  The very famous Joe & Stacey Isaacs help make "Just Another Man" a terrific traditional country song.  It's all on this CD, one of the best new bluegrass ones I've heard since I've been reviewing CD's for Country Music News International.  To get this kind of sound, and get it so incredibly well, it requires a bit more than absolutely terrific musicians.  It requires a master engineer in the studio, in this vivid project it's Tim Norris, who also played the bass.  Tim knows what 'mix' means, and he did a wonderful job here.  He did it at the Castleford Studios in Boone, North Carolina.  Perfect combination of talent, 'ear' and certainly ability.  It's all here in Mary Nalley's CD.  Mary is also a Christian and not afraid to inform us that she gives her 'talent' the gift she has received to her Lord and Savior, who continues to bless her with the ability to learn and the ability to take a hobby and make it a profession.  I really really like this kind of musician and entertainer.  The music 'business' as such is a super difficult one to participate in and keep your principles alive and well.  Mary does this, and she does it well.  I'm not sure what 'kind' of fiddle she plays but I do know this.  Both the 'highs' and the 'lows' of the instrument she plays are exactly where they need to be to make her 'style' of playing absolutely beautiful....all the way through.  Her choice of material is also one of her very precious ways to keep the ancient tones alive, as Bill Monroe cautioned us all who like this music.  From Stephen Foster to Rose Maddox, from Hank Williams to Johnny Cash, Mary has it all on this delightful album. A first class presentation of the music that matters.  Off this one goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their CD of the Year award this year.  Get ready Mary.  By the way, my favorite Kenny Baker song is "Windy City" take a listen to that one.  My guess is you'll have it down in no time.  Congratulations on a super number-one album of America's 'real' country music.
www.music-savers.com  RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President, National Traditional Country Music Assn. for Country Music News International

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