Black Music Matters Festival

Billy Ray Cyrus

The Singin' Hills Sessions Vol. 1 Sunset – 2020 (Broken Bow)

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

See it on Amazon

Billy Ray Cyrus has not been a stranger to commercial success over his 30-year career. After achieving immediate global stardom with 1992's iconic breakout hit "Achy Breaky Heart," he spent years starring in his uber-famous daughter's Disney juggernaut, "Hannah Montana." Now he has two Grammys for the duet with Lil Nas X on "Old Town Road" On its heels is this incredibly brief three-song EP "The Singin' Hills Sessions Vol. 1 Sunset." "It's purpose was not to put out new music, nor prompt a resurgence of his style. It was rather a personal refocusing point.

Cyrus kicks it off by nailing a moving cover of Neil Diamond's "I Saw I Said" that he performed as an emotional tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on The Talk. There is a collaboration with Shooter Jennings, a satisfying banjo and fiddle-driven "Killing The Blues" that would please a staunch bluegrass fan. The closer "She Always Goes" is a soft, achy acoustic ballad about leaving that feels like a single take in a songwriter's round. At 13 minutes in length, you'll quickly find out if it suits your taste.