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Dale Ann Bradley

Catch Tomorrow – 2006 (Compass)

Reviewed by Dave Bagdade

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CDs by Dale Ann Bradley

Dale Ann Bradley makes her label debut a winner. Bradley has been one of the most well-regarded vocalists in bluegrass for years, with IBMA and SPBGMA nominations, and her new record makes it easy to see why.

"Catch Tomorrow" was produced by Compass co-founder Alison Brown, who provides some outstanding banjo to Billy Joe Shaver's "Live Forever" and "I Can't Stand The Rain." There are instrumental guests aplenty, including Michael Cleveland and Stuart Duncan on fiddle, mandolinists Jesse Brock and Tim O'Brien and guitarist Jeff White. Bradley also duets with guest vocalists Marty Raybon on "Holding On To Nothing" and Larry Sparks on "Pass Me Not." O'Brien, White and Mountain Heart's Steve Gulley contribute backing vocals. Bradley, Brown and O'Brien are also joined by Celtic supergroup (and Compass labelmates) Lunasa on "When The Mist Comes Again." However, Bradley is at all times the star of the show.

The production and material are exceptional throughout. The record is balanced nicely between uptempo bluegrass (Bradley's "Run Rufus Run" and Chris Stuart's excellent "Julie Belle") and moodier material ("Mercy Railroad"), and the closing "Me & Bobby McGee" replicates the classic Janis arrangement without spinning out of control. Although Bradley's previous solo work has been exemplary, this is still a major step forward.