CD-268 Springfield Exit "That was Then"
I am here today to talk about some very dear friends and some of the most talented people I know. I have just finished listening to this new release from Springfield Exit. The folks in this band have a long history in the bluegrass world. Two are former members of the Southwest Virginia group Appalachian Trail and three are former members of the Johnson Mountain Boys. The fact that they come together in Springfield Exit is reason enough to know this will be a great project!! The core of Springfield Exit had very successful CDs on the Cracker Barrel music series as well as being part of the Stoney Point Quartet on the same series.
Bristol, Virginia born Linda Lay is one of my all time favorite singers in any genre of music. I first heard her with Appalachian Trail when we were both much younger. She has range, tone and emotion that is very rare and it can be heard throughout this CD. From the first song "No One Knows" you hear how she makes you believe every word she sings. Her delivery on the Don Williams classic "Till the Rivers All Run Dry" is proof she can take any song and make it her own. She glides through such bluegrass classics as Buzz Busby's "Lonesome Wind", the classic country feel of "That was Then and This is Now," and the old-time edge of "Elkhorn Ridge" with ease. If she was not one of your favorites before, she will be after you listen to this project.
David McLaughlin has to be one of the most versatile musicians I have ever known. A mainstay with the Johnson Mountain Boys, he is widely known for his traditional mandolin style. You also will hear his amazing crosspicking guitar as well as clawhammer banjo and fiddle on this recording. He fits every style of song on this collection and is capable of playing far more. Always tasteful and to the point.
Tom Adams has been one of my favorite banjo players since I heard him play with Jimmy Martin and The Sunny Mountain Boys in the 1980's. His three IBMA "Banjo Player of the Year" awards are a testament to what he is all about. His drive on songs like "Listen to Me Mother" and "I've Endured" is classic Tom. His tasteful back-up and solos on the slower country feel songs are creative and in the pocket.
David Lay is as solid as it gets on rhythm guitar. His rhythm and fills always compliment the vocals and whatever instrument is taking the solo without getting in the way. He has a great ear for the harmony vocals he contributes.
Marshall Wilborn, four-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year, provides an awesome foundation on this record. Marshall has written many great songs over the years that have been recorded by top artists in the bluegrass industry. He contributes a great song, "That was Then and This is Now" to this project. I have also always been a fan of his singing as you will hear on the Bob Dylan classic "You Ain't Goin’ Nowhere." He does a tasty bass solo on that song as well!
Five great artists, one great band — I know you will enjoy this CD as much as I have.
Thank You Springfield Exit !!
— Sammy Shelor, December 2014