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Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver

Lonely Street – 2009 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Matt Merta

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CDs by Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver

Doyle Lawson has often joked about how his band seems to be a farm club for talent, as so many of his former members have moved on to successful bluegrass projects on their own. This means he has to keep seeking out fresh and quality talent to fill the ranks. While the sound of the instrumentation and vocals may change, the overall mark is still trademark Quicksilver.

With "Lonely Street," Lawson has found a new vocalist with Darren Beachley, who also handles most of the guitar chores. Dobroist Josh Swift gives the Quicksilver sound a slight twangy feel compared to previous incarnations. Carl White and Joey Cox fill in the bass and fiddle parts, respectively along with Lawson's mandolin work. Standout tracks include the title cut, which Quicksilver gives a nice breakdown feel to an old country standard, as well as Monroe's Mandolin, in which Beachley's vocals come across with a youthful admiration to the Father of Bluegrass.

However, it is the two tracks that Lawson takes lead vocals, Ain't a Woman Somebody When She's Gone and My Real World of Make Believe (both written by Buddy Cannon), where the true heart of this album comes out. The slight aged crackle in his voice really hit the listener hard and make one want to truly sympathize with the storyteller. Lawson has always had a great ear for what sounds good, and these two tracks are prime examples.

The three- and four-part harmonies so prevalent with any Quicksilver incarnation are definitely here. Although a bit weak in spots, one can always be sure that any project Doyle Lawson touches will have the highest quality singing and harmonizing in no time. "Lonely Street" is another great album from this bluegrass legend.