CD-285 The Molly Rose Band "With All Due Respect"
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With All Due Respect
The Molly Rose Band got its start with some chance encounters among four talented musicians in the Danville, Virginia area, and grew into a coalition combining a smooth traditional style, song-writing expertise, and shared respect for the bluegrass legacy. Bandleader and songwriter Lynwood Lunsford brings banjo prowess honed in work with greats like Jimmy Martin and The Lost and Found; Mark Hudson plays guitar and contributes sturdy lead singing along with some of his own songs; mandolin player David Lewis displays his high, clear tenor voice and Gary Baird offers baritone harmonies along with his skill on the stand-up bass.
The title of this project expresses the group’s wish to pay homage to the first generation of bluegrass, a musical form that, it’s been said, started out perfect. Molly Rose Band fans already appreciate how closely the group conforms to that high standard, and this production offers further proof.
Every selection here features flawless breaks on mandolin and banjo, tight timing, and great vocal blends. In a burst of speed on Hudson’s “Westward Bound” the group establishes its energy and cohesion. “Go and Leave Me” has a long-ago feel, carried through to the sorrowful “I Haven’t Seen Mary in Years,” lead by David Lewis. Hudson’s creation, “Burden of Sin,” touchingly expresses the desperation of lost sinners and their hopes for salvation. Lunsford’s “Molly Rose” is a bar room wail with a traditional feel. The familiar “Columbus Stockade Blues” comes across swift and smooth. “Drinking Her Memory Down” underscores Lunsford’s songwriting talents again, with a swing cadence, tight, well-chosen lyrics and bright solos on banjo and mandolin. “Tradin’ the Blues” generates a lively loping rhythm that matches the intention of the song, followed by a spirited rendition of the lovelorn “Beautiful Blue Eyes.” Hudson’s composition “A Better Place in Time” offers nostalgia for home and childhood we can all identify with, and “Don’t Let the Smokey Mountain Smoke Get in Your Eyes” features well woven harmonies and another chance for Lewis to produce his sterling high lead,. “Trade My Cross” stands out with its powerful Louvin-style duet artistry and distinct instrumentals solidly in the bluegrass gospel mode. The final “Why Did You Leave Me” by Hudson demonstrates again that it is possible to write a new song with the old feeling.
Lunsford says the band selected these tunes with a mind to what their fans enjoy and request. In every case, there is instrumental expertise that pleases without overpowering the well-constructed singing…all resulting in just what the band aims for: a reverence for basic bluegrass that is evident in every note.
Barbara Bamberger Scott
Lynwood Lunsford- banjo
David Lewis - mandolin & vocals
Gary Baird - bass & vocals
Mark Hudson - guitar & vocals