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Blind Man Walking
     

Blind Man Walking

by Cadillac Sky
 
The debut of Cadillac Sky, a quintet that includes the respected songwriter Bryan Simpson on mandolin and vocals, is a winner straight out of the gate. Writing or co-writing every song on the album, Simpson (whose songs have been cut by George Strait, Martina McBride, and Gretchen Wilson, among others) uses Blind Man Walking as a kind of coming-out party, and

Overview

The debut of Cadillac Sky, a quintet that includes the respected songwriter Bryan Simpson on mandolin and vocals, is a winner straight out of the gate. Writing or co-writing every song on the album, Simpson (whose songs have been cut by George Strait, Martina McBride, and Gretchen Wilson, among others) uses Blind Man Walking as a kind of coming-out party, and what a coming-out it is. He's a man who sees the hand of God moving in the material world at almost every turn, always in fascinating ways. Sometimes that movement is overt, as depicted in "Sinners Welcome," a rustic, banjo-and-guitar-driven tale, complete with a soulful gospel choir, delineating the dangers of dissolute behavior but holding out the hope of eternal salvation. Elsewhere it's more subtle, expressed most beautifully in the ancient-sounding "Homesick Angel," a wrenching account of a child's passing. In the frisky "Motel Morning," a musician¹s lament to life on the road, he prays God will not only protect him in his travels but forgive him the gypsy ways that distance him from a faithful woman at home. In the witty "Can't Trust the Weatherman," Simpson tells the story of a would-be Bonnie and Clyde foiled repeatedly by the weather turning on them at critical moments, leading to the inevitable observation, "You can't trust the weatherman" -- the meteorologist in question clearly being the man upstairs. It's the kind of original, smart, and soulful song that Bryan Simpson turns out in spades on this release.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
The tricky part about being a bluegrass band these days is finding something new to do with it. Bluegrass is a music largely bound by its own rules: instrumentation, structures, harmonies, tempos and even song subjects rarely stray far from parameters established decades ago, and even the newgrass groups that go out of their way to bend those rules are ultimately bound by them. So the best one can hope for when encountering a newcomer is, first, that they can play like masters, and, second, that they have songs that haven't been played into the ground by the hundreds of bluegrass bands that preceded them. Cadillac Sky wins on both points and then jumps one step further by determinedly inching beyond the genre's established edges. There are few surprises here in the string setup: you get your basic banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bass. And you get a clear-as-a-bell lead vocalist met by perfectly complementary harmony voices (some sound like they've been lifted straight from the pure-pop likes of the Beatles or CSN&Y). But this quintet is so facile in their picking and so inventive in their instrumental arrangements and vocal interactions that their approach to bluegrass can't help but be refreshingly original throughout. Occasionally the band injects a sound that throws a curve (whoever heard of a didgeridoo on a bluegrass recording?) but mostly Cadillac Sky begins with the material of vocalist/mandolinist Bryant Simpson -- written solo or in collaboration with others -- and then deconstructs it from the inside out until they've found a thoroughly unexpected way of presenting those songs. Cadillac Sky never give the impression that they're deliberately looking to leave traditional bluegrass in the dust -- in fact, their respect for it is abundantly clear -- but they just can't help moving it to the next level on Blind Man Walking.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/23/2007
Label:
Skaggs Family
UPC:
0669890201722
catalogNumber:
902017
Rank:
92862

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cadillac Sky   Primary Artist
Byron House   Upright Bass,Guest Appearance
Bryant Simpson   Fiddle,Mandolin,Vocals,Group Member
Sonya Isaacs   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Kenneth Soper   Didjeridu,Guest Appearance
Dennis Wilson Quintet   Baritone (Vocal),Guest Appearance
Matt Mendes   Banjo
Clint 'The Sturge' Sturgeon   Baritone (Vocal)
Dennis Wilson   Baritone (Vocal)
Ross Holmes   Fiddle
C-Sky Sista' And Soul Brotha' Choir   Vocals
C-Sky Sideful Stomp And Holy Hands Quartet   Vocals
Mike Jump   Guitar
Bryan Simpson   Fiddle
Kenneth Soper   Didjeridu

Technical Credits

Brent King   Engineer
John Pennell   Composer
Bryant Simpson   Composer
Matthew Ross   Composer
Marcel Proust   Author
Adam Hatley   Vocal Engineer
James Slater   Composer
Eric Legg   Engineer
Cadillac Sky   Composer,Audio Production
Ashley Gorley   Composer
Wade Kirby   Composer

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