King goes for "three chords and the truth"
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
– James King will about "Three Chords and the Truth" when the bluegrasser's next disc is out Sept. 30 on Rounder. King covers 12 songs from the country music canon, including compositions by Hank Williams, Don Gibson, Vern Gosdin, Leon Payne, Bobby Braddock and Curly Putnam, Warner Mack, Billy Joe Shaver and Harlan Howard.
Devil's Train, from an obscure Hank Williams recording, is the earliest song here, and Riding With Private Malone, the 2001 hit by David Ball, is the most recent. In between are Jason's Farm, a 1975 hit for Cal Smith; Talking To The Wall, a Warner Mack number from 1966; Blue Blue Day, a chart topper for its composer, Don Gibson, in 1958; Shadows Of My Mind, a middling hit for traditional country singer Vernon Oxford in 1975; Sunday Morning Christian by Harlan Howard, who performed his composition in 1971; and Old Five and Dimers, Shaver's imaginative, blues-tinged masterpiece.
King also covered Vern Gosdin's Chiseled In Stone and George Jones classics Things Have Gone To Pieces and He Stopped Loving Her Today.
King was backed by fiddler Jimmy Mattingly, guitarist Josh Williams, banjoist and harmony fiddler Ronnie Stewart, mandolinist Jesse Brock and bassist Jason Moore. King's band mates in the bluegrass supergroup Longview, Dudley Connell and Don Rigsby, lend their vocal harmonies.
More news for James King
CD reviews for James King
Three Chords and the Truth
On his Grammy-nominated album (Best Bluegrass Album 2013), James King, the "Bluegrass Storyteller" offers his own renditions of classic country songs, illustrating through his straight-ahead guitar delivery and emotionally expressive voice the simple yet complex truth of Harlan Howard's famous definition of country music: "It's three chords and the truth."
Gathering around him some of the best young bluegrass musicians around - mandolinist Jesse Brock, bassist Jason »»»
Gardens in the Sky: The Bluegrass Gospel of James King
When bluegrasser James King wraps his vocals around a gospel song
either as a solo artist or with the supergroup Longview, it's been a hand-in-glove fit. Yet there wasn't quite enough in King's extensive traditional bluegrass catalog to compile a much-requested all-gospel record. With the help of producer Ken Irwin, King solved that. In early 2007, King recorded 6 new numbers - primarily contemporary gospel songs - and the result is, well, heavenly.
In fact, the new stuff not »»»
The Bluegrass Storyteller
Following a studio absence of 3 years, James King returns for his 5th release on Rounder, a collection of 13 tunes that is possibly his most complete effort to date. As the title suggests, it's a baker's dozen of songs old and new from a who's who of writers that tell classic stories of love lost and love found, sin and redemption, good luck and bad luck, and a classic tearjerker or two thrown in for good measure.
Long known as one of the most forceful and direct vocalists in bluegrass, King »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: MerleFest: the new generation arrives
Friday at MerleFest is when things really get rolling; it is the first full day of music and this year it seemed the crowds were there early and often, perhaps to get some good tunes in before the forecasted rain hits on Saturday.
The Stray Birds kicked things off down at the cozy Creekside stage, with an entertaining and energetic early morning set.... »»»
Concert Review: Yet again, Hurray for the Riff Raff feels no absence
Hurray for the Riff Raff could never be accused of living up to the adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder." In fact, this was their fourth appearance in the greater Boston area (that is if you count last year's Newport Folk Festival for being in the general areas) in 12 ½ months.
Like other shows, Hurray, which is really Alynda... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
In his life and career, Joe Pug has never done anything halfway. So when Pug experienced a crippling lack of creative inspiration after his punishing road schedule to promote 2012's "The Great Despiser," he didn't consider the possibility of taking a short break. Joe Pug was on the verge of throwing in the towel.... »»»
A great deal has transpired in the 10 years between Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson connecting at North Carolina's Black Banjo Gathering and the release of Giddens' brilliant debut solo album, "Tomorrow is My Turn." Giddens and Flemons formed the very successful Sankofa Springs. Robinson met and was mentored by black string band legend Joe Thompson, and ultimately, Giddens, Flemons and Robinson formed the bluegrass/folk/blues powerhouse, the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
A couple of years ago, while discussing various musical poet-heroes, singer-songwriter Hayes Carll mused that "in a perfect world, Ray Wylie Hubbard would be winning Grammys." With the release of his latest offering, "The Ruffian's Misfortune," a follow-up to 2012's critically acclaimed, "The Grifter's Hymnal," now might just be the time that Carll was talking about.... »»»
Second Hand Heart
Dwight Yoakam appears to be a many of mystery on the cover. With two side-by-side images of himself, the Kentucky honky tonker dons a trademark cowboy hat, jeans jacket and jacket and plucking his electric, legs spread and head pointed down. But there really is no mystery about Yoakam, who has been making music longer than some of the contemporary country acts have been alive. »»»
It's been five years since her last album - 2010's "All the Women That I Am" - but the Queen of Country Music's crown hasn't lost its luster. On her 27th album, Oklahoma native McEntire adds another jewel to her tiara with her new album that covers familiar territory: strong women, the heartbreak of breakup, the determination of a broken lover starting over and the destructive and healing power of love. »»»
Something in the Water
Whether Pokey LaFarge's seventh album, "Something in the Water," could be called more than "retro" is a stretch. The St. Louis musician's 21st century talent shows through his performance, compositions and writing, but some things work against him in his fight to make the album timeless. »»»