CD-233 Dewey Farmer & Derwin Hinson
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Bluegrass Unlimited once proclaimed Dewey Farmer "The Best Mandolin Player You've Never Heard." But for those of us who came up in and around the North Carolina bluegrass scene, the last 3 words of that title were always unnecessary. To us, Dewey was simply the best. A stirring combination of Monroe downstrokes and machine-gun triplets, of traditional fiddle tunes and crazy Andy Statman covers (a contrast revisited to kick off this recording); there is simply no one like Dewey. And besides, that unofficial title was never entirely accurate anyway. If you've heard Carl Story's 1969 LP Daddy Sang Bass, then you've heard Dewey. Own any of those groundbreaking early 70s A.L Wood and The Smokey Mountain Boys LPs? Then you've heard Dewey. Enjoy Butch Robbins' acclaimed 2005 release, Grounded, Centered and Focused? Then, well, you get the idea...
Derwin Hinson was entertaining audiences at an age when most of us can barely entertain ourselves. Starting his music career as a 9 year old member of his father's gospel band, Derwin's eventual mastery of multiple instruments soon found him on stage with Charlie Louvin at the Grand Ole' Opry. As a member of Louvin's band, and then with Vern Gosdin, Derwin spent years in Nashville, touring the country extensively and appearing on Crook & Chase, Nashville Now, Austin City Limits and the very first Farm Aid. Derwin moved back to North Carolina when his father fell ill, and eventually founded Derwin Hinson Ministries, an effort to reach and entertain people through ministry and music.
Now the two have have come together to bring you this project. Recorded at Derwin Hinson's own Kure Beach Studio, Dewey and Derwin have produced a selection of instrumentals that are at times playful, at times reverent, but always compelling. The album kicks off with a funky rendition of "Old Joe Clark", followed by Andy Statman's exquisite "Flatbush Waltz," introducing the contrast in moods that runs throughout the recording. Tracks such as the whimsical "Dew-Win Bounce", the swing standard "Kansas CIty Kitty," and unexpected covers such as The Beatles' "Yesterday" and Bob Wills' "Roly Poly" are just plain fun and will leave you grinning. Meanwhile, such original tracks as "The Bells Sing for Candrea" (Hinson) and "Moonlight on the Waves" (Farmer) paint a far more serious picture, the former with its sense of dramatic tension, the latter with mournfulness of latter-day Monroe. And the one purely sacred number, "Jesus Savior Pilot Me" is presented with the reverence and taste deserving of such a beautiful song.
Dewey Farmer & Derwin Hinson presents two master musicians who have nothing to prove, simply sharing the music they love with the world. If you are reading this, you will soon find yourself loving it as well. - Joseph L. Scott