The Room Over Mine
Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass
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Very few bluegrass musicians get to enjoy the kind of apprenticeship that Dan Paisley experienced as he was coming up: 32 years as a sideman to his father, the legendary Bob Paisley. After the elder Paisley's passing in 2004, his son and the remaining bandmembers eventually decided to carry on both the band's activities and its name. This album is the second recorded product of that decision, and it does indeed continue the tradition of straight-ahead, hard-edged traditional bluegrass that was Bob Paisley's strength. Dan Paisley's voice is suitably reedy and high-pitched, but it also has a graininess and lower-frequency resonance that sets it apart somewhat from the bluegrass mainstream. The songs are, for the most part, well-selected: after a slightly disastrous opening (Chris Stuart's tear-jerking "Don't Throw Mama's Flowers Away" is shameless even by bluegrass standards), the program settles into a pleasing groove, and includes such fine selections as Little Jimmy Dickens' regretful "Another Bridge to Burn," the band's own adaptation of the string band classic "Sally Ann," and the Porter Wagoner composition "I Thought I Heard You Calling My Name" (notice the way the walking bassline powers that song forward without making it sound any less like bluegrass). Everything is played with fire and conviction. Recommended.