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David Davis and the Warrior River Boys

Troubled Times – 2006 (Rebel)

Reviewed by Dr. Bobby Jones

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CDs by David Davis and the Warrior River Boys

David Davis and the Warrior River Boys are a smooth band, somewhat reminiscent of the days when bluegrass and country were one and the same on AM radio. Rather than the piercing high tenors often heard in the '90s, Davis puts me more in the mind of the bluegrass ballad singers of the late '50s, such as Jim Eanes or Bill Clifton, except Davis fronts his outfit with a mandolin rather than a guitar.

The material is also typical of that era, murder ballads, Civil War songs and train tunes, with a bit of the blues for good measure. The brother duet type numbers such as Hank William's "(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle" are especially effective.

This is not hard driving, modern bluegrass, but more a soulful, bluesy mandolin style coupled with old fashioned harmony singing. Additionally, all the musicians (banjo, fiddle, guitar, bass) and vocalists on the recording are equally adept at the material. A good throwback to another era, most likely these musicians are more interested in playing their style of music than trying to create something that might play on CMT. Recommended for listeners interested in old style, but not old-time music.