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Bill Lyerly

Requiem Mess – 2001 (Broadcast)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Bill Lyerly

Bill Lyerly is best known in his native North Carolina as a blues/rocker, but on his latest self-released effort he joins forces with Clyde Mattocks as he reaches back for his country roots. On "Half Lap To Go" Lyerly pays tribute to Dale Earnhardt, with whom he was acquainted, with a contemporary country tune that avoids oversentimentality.

The most traditional sounding tune is "Ain't Goin' Down That Road," a Lyerly original that could easily be mistaken to be of Carter Family vintage. Lyerly's passion for blues is most evident on "Widow and the Taxman" and "Hangmen," on which he duets with Steve Earle.

Along with Lyerly's impressive guitar work the album is carried musically by Mattocks' stellar work on dobro, pedal steel, banjo and mandolin. Rounding out the band are Dexter Horton (drums), Hugh Floyd (bass) and Walter Lyerly (fiddle). Lyerly showcases an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary country with a touch of bluegrass and blues.