Never Say Never Again

Never Say Never Again

5.0 1
by Dwight McCall
     
 

Never Say Never Again is mandolinist/vocalist Dwight McCall's second solo release, a solid bluegrass recording featuring his bandmates from J.D. Crowe & the New South along with a number of other players. The overall emphasis here is on the songs themselves, with McCall's lead and harmony vocals (along with a little…  See more details below

Overview

Never Say Never Again is mandolinist/vocalist Dwight McCall's second solo release, a solid bluegrass recording featuring his bandmates from J.D. Crowe & the New South along with a number of other players. The overall emphasis here is on the songs themselves, with McCall's lead and harmony vocals (along with a little help from his bandmates) offering enjoyable renditions of both original and traditional songs. The material is strong, from the spunky "Time of Our Lives" to the easy-rolling "West Virginia Ground." As has become extremely common in contemporary bluegrass, McCall includes at least two songs about the Civil War, "Blue Eyed Boston Boy" and "Logan's Crossroads." The obsession is hard to explain, unless it somehow reflects anxiety relating to the war in Iraq. Both songs are handled well, and "Blue Eyed Boston Boy" is especially catchy. There's also room for religious material ("Pathway of My Savior"), love songs ("Don't Break My Heart Again"), and songs about home ("West Virginia Ground"). McCall and his bandmates play well together, and they've left just enough room for some fine, pithy solo work. For those who like contemporary bluegrass that leans toward tradition, Never Say Never Again will hit the spot.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/24/2007
Label:
Rural Rhythm
UPC:
0732351103122
catalogNumber:
1031
Rank:
210975

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dwight McCall   Primary Artist,Banjo,Mandolin,Vocals,Baritone (Vocal),Tenor (Vocal)
Lou Reid   Vocals,Tenor (Vocal),Guest Appearance
Rickey Wasson   Baritone,Tenor (Vocal),Guest Appearance
Alan Bibey   Mandolin,Guest Appearance
Steve Gulley   Tenor (Vocal),Guest Appearance
Randy Kohrs   Dobro,Guest Appearance
Ron Stewart   Banjo,Fiddle,Mandolin,Guest Appearance
Harold Nixon   Bass,Guest Appearance
Missy Werner   Tenor (Vocal)
Brian Stephens   Guitar

Technical Credits

Simon Walker   Composer
Paul van Dyk   Composer
Jon Weisberger   Composer,Liner Notes
Craig Market   Composer
Dwight McCall   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Wayne Winkle   Composer
Traditional   Composer

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Never Say Never Again 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Playing Time – 46:18 -- Since 1996, Dwight McCall has played mandolin and sung tenor with J. D. Crowe and the New South. McCall’s previous band experience had included Union Springs (1992-95), as well as a short period with Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen. Four years since his 2003 “Kentucky Peace of Mind” solo album, “Never Say Never Again” is his 2007 coming out party on the Rural Rhythm record label that has made a recent commitment to the promotion of “new traditions” to supplement their large historical bluegrass archive. In fact, Dwight McCall is the son of Jim McCall who recorded three excellent albums with Earl Taylor for Rural Rhythm in the 1960s. McCall’s contemporary bluegrass is smooth, refined and radio-friendly. His voice is less intense than say Don Rigsby’s or certainly Bill Monroe’s, but that in itself is McCall’s charm as he delivers his lyrics with convincing emotion and clarion highs. Without being piercing, Dwight’s voice has a kind of subtlety and peerless ability to prod a song’s message. On seven of the numbers, Dwight also dubbed in two harmonies with himself. That makes for a vocal blend as smooth as suede. On the other seven songs, Dwight sings two parts along with a third well-blended vocal harmony provided by Lou Reid, Rickey Wasson, Steve Gulley or Missy Werner. Assisting musicians give us plenty of fiery, proficient instrumental work courtesy of Alan Bibey (mandolin), Ron Stewart (banjo, fiddle, mandolin), Harold Nixon (bass), Brian Stephens (guitar), and Randy Kohrs (Dobro). Dwight lays his own mandolin picking into Mark Brinkman’s “West Virginia Ground” and the traditional “Blue Eyed Boston Boy” that is getting good airplay from its inclusion on Volume 86 of the Prime Cuts of Bluegrass sampler. Another traditional number, “Little Bessie,” features Dwight’s banjo playing. Demonstrating strong aptitude as a songwriter, McCall penned “Goodbye My Friend,” “Don’t Break My Heart Again,” and “He Never Turned Away.” All three offer touching statements about dealing with romance, love and reality. “Goodbye My Friend,” must be a tough one to sing as it pays tribute to McCall’s brother who died in a car wreck in 2000. Another gospel selection, “Pathway of My Saviour” written by Jon Weisberger, was originally recorded by Dwight with his band Union Springs in 1994. The title cut came from Wayne Winkle and Craig Market. Written by Mike Evens, “Logan’s Crossroad” is a splendid Civil War ballad recounting an 1862 bloody battle that resulted in many men being pushed down the mountain and falling. A song that adapts well to bluegrass, “Lost River” comes from the pen of Michael Martin Murphy and was previously recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. When Alan Bibey’s mandolin modulates and drives the song to a higher key about three minutes into it, “Lost River” is infused with even more energy and excitement. I like hearing bluegrassers arrange their material with modulations to different keys. Another innovative, up-tempo bluegrass adaptation is “Time of Our Lives,” that Dwight woke up to when it was playing slowly on HBO one night. Seems he liked and could relate to the sentiment about living in the present and enjoying life to its fullest. While there are many strengths on this project, “Never Say Never Again” is first and foremost a presentation of McCall’s affable lead vocalizing and harmonizing on a nice balance of traditional and contemporary material. It also gives a taste of his exquisite mandolin chops, and it serves as his banjo recording debut. He also honors his family and friends, and he hangs with musicians of the highest caliber. The CD clearly establishes Dwight McCall as a defining and adaptab