Remington Ryde made a promise to James King to keep his music alive, and with the release of "A Storyteller's Memory," the group kept its word. The band's first recording with Pinecastle Records is a tribute to the late King that includes some of his most memorable stories and songs.
Remington Ryde puts forth great effort in capturing the emotion that made King famous, but was thoughtful enough not to overshadow the original. "A Storyteller's Memory" gives just enough essence of King that it will inspire listeners to dig up their old albums and listen to The Bluegrass Storyteller himself, and if that is the purpose of a tribute album, Remington Ryde succeeded.
The tribute begins with "Days of Grey and Black" and from there continue with King standards, such as "Thirty Years of Farming" and "Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore" as well as "Old Swinging Bridge" and "Leavin'." No tribute to King would be complete without a version of "Bed By The Window" one his most beloved story songs, and Remington Ryde delivers.
It is evident that each song was carefully chosen to collect King's best stories, standards and emotion. Remington Ryde polishes off their tribute with a song simply titled, "Mr. King." As many tribute songs go, this one follows the formula. Written by guitarist and vocalist Ryan Frankhouser, "Mr. King" is a heartfelt ode to his hero packed full of allusions to King's life and music.
King himself makes an appearance closing out "A Storyteller's Memory" with "It's A Cold Cold World." It is a fitting end for the project that gives a nudge of encouragement to listeners to go find those old King albums and give them another listen. Hearing King's voice is refreshing; especially after a 10-song tribute of his best music that he can no longer play himself.
With "A Storyteller's Memory," Remington Ryde celebrates The Bluegrass Storyteller and also pays sincere respect to the man that has left an everlasting mark on its music. James King would be proud.