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Carolina Memories

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Album Review

Ramona Church represents one of the best trends in bluegrass: the emergence of great women singers and players. Everything comes together for banjoist/singer Church on her debut, Carolina Memories: good songwriting, fresh covers, pleasant harmonies, and tight instrumental work. Mandolin player Lorraine Jordan helped write a number of the songs here, including the traditionally flavored "Love of the Smoky Mountains." Church delivers this song, and the title cut, with a relaxed confidence; her warm resonant voice draws the listener in. While these songs cover traditional themes — home, faith, and true love — the lyrics are given a nice, contemporary touch. Church and company offer excellent versions of Hank Williams' "House of Gold" (with Don Wells singing lead) and a fine rendition of Gram Parsons' "Hickory Wind." This latter, much-covered song is injected with a dose of upbeat bluegrass soul and some fancy fiddling by Jeff Michael. Perhaps the catchiest tune on the album is "Seventeen Years," a lovely, sad song about dreams that never come true. The detail of the poignant lyrics and the lonesome harmony by Church and Jordan make this song a keeper. One also shouldn't miss "Jordan's Drive" and "On Fire," two hot instrumentals that give the band a chance to strut its stuff. Carolina Memories shows that with the right singer, songwriters, and players, traditional bluegrass is far from old-fashioned. Church and friends have shaped a lovely album that should appeal to anyone who appreciates good bluegrass. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi

Carolina Memories, Ramona Church
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  • £7.99
  • Genres: Country, Music
  • Released: 27 March 2001

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