Stevie Barr Along The Crooked Road
- Released: July 31, 2007
- Label: Arhoolie Records
- 1.Lonesome Road Blues
- 3.He Was Born in Bethlehem
- 4.Sally Ann
- 5.Bye Bye Blues
- 6.It's Sinful to Flirt
- 7.Old Jimmy Sutton
- 8.Viagra Blues
- 9.No Place Like Father's House
- 10.Uncle Joe
- 11.Mary in the Wild Moore
- 12.At Calvary
- 13.Durang's Hornpipe
- 14.Barbara Allen
- 15.Sweet Sunny South
- 16.Train #1262
- 17.Dust on the Bible
- 18.Shane's Reel
- 19.I Wonder If I Done My Best For Jesus
- 20.Foggy Mountain Breakdown
- 21.Leaving Grayson
Personnel: Stevie Barr (banjo); Stevie Barr; Becky Barr (vocals, guitar); Dennis Hall, Rev. Ted Bartlett, Becky Barr, Donald Hill, Don Hill (guitar); Reid Robertson, Seteve Spencer Strickland (mandolin); Martha Spencer (fiddle); Audine Lineberry (electric bass); Katie Golden, Alan Maston, Herb Key, Tom Barr (bass guitar); Congregation Of the Independent Baptise Church (background vocals); Jesse Lovell (vocals, guitar); Eddie Bond (vocals, fiddle); Gerald Anderson (guitar); Jeff Little (piano).
Liner Note Author: Chris Strachwitz.
Recording information: Alan Maston's House; American Folk Festival, Bangor, MA; Barr's Fiddle Shop, Galax, VA; The Independent Bible Baptist Church, Galax, VA; Tom & Becky Barr's House, Galax, VA; Wayne Henderson's House.
Photographer: Chris Strachwitz.
First established on record as leader of the bluegrass band No Speed Limit, banjo player Stevie Barr went solo for the 2007 release Along the Crooked Road. It's not a conventional solo album in which the leader plays with a set or nearly set group of musicians, however. Instead, the 21 tracks were recorded with a rotating cast of friends from around his base of Galax, VA. It's not a conventional studio album, either, since -- in the words of Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz in the liner notes -- it was recorded "informally at various locations in contrast to formal or controlled studio settings." Also, while Barr handled banjo on all cuts, and most of them feature vocals, Barr himself doesn't sing, the vocal chores being shared by five of the musicians he used. It's an accomplished, straight-ahead bluegrass album, strongly weighted toward traditional songs. The presence of several different combinations of musicians yields more variety than many traditional bluegrass albums bear, and at times the material gets into gospel, though usually it's in a more standard bluegrass mold. Even the song titled "Viagra Blues," written by Jesse Lovell (who sings and plays guitar on some of the album), turns out to be a fairly unsurprising bluesy instrumental. Some of the other song selections could have been more imaginative, however; it's unlikely many listeners are pining for more versions of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" and "Barbara Allen." ~ Richie Unterberger
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