Somewhere South of Crazy

Somewhere South of Crazy

5.0 1
by Dale Ann Bradley
     
 
Don't be fooled by the mandolin and banjo: she might deny it, but Dale Ann Bradley left bluegrass behind long ago. What she's making now is a really quite modern version of acoustic country music, one that partakes happily of the instrumental textures and some of the sonic clichés of bluegrass, but uses them in the context of much more complex chord changes,

Overview

Don't be fooled by the mandolin and banjo: she might deny it, but Dale Ann Bradley left bluegrass behind long ago. What she's making now is a really quite modern version of acoustic country music, one that partakes happily of the instrumental textures and some of the sonic clichés of bluegrass, but uses them in the context of much more complex chord changes, singer/songwritery lyrical concerns, and songs that are centered on hooks that George Strait would kill for. "Summer Breeze" is actually a Seals & Crofts number -- and unfortunately, not even someone with Dale Ann Bradley's pipes is able to save it from the 1970s folk-schlock pit in which that song had quietly lain for so long. However, shortly after that misstep she demonstrates her continued ability to deliver a hard-driving, high-and-lonesome bluegrass classic by absolutely crushing the Bill Monroe standard "In Despair." (Kudos to mandolinist David Long, whose brief solo on that track is a sweet and pure tribute to Monroe.) A few other songs tread close to the traditional bluegrass line as well, particularly the excellent "Next to Nothing" and "New Shoes." The title track was co-written with country star Pam Tillis, and it's a wry and affecting plea for escape from the drudgery of office life to the open road and a sunny destination -- yet another example of Bradley's ability to take standard country tropes and imbue them with subtle but fresh new ideas.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/30/2011
Label:
Compass Records
UPC:
0766397456423
catalogNumber:
4564
Rank:
77154

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dale Ann Bradley   Primary Artist,Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Alison Brown   Banjo,Guitar
Pam Tillis   Vocal Harmony
Mike Bub   Bass
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Kim Fox   Vocal Harmony
Steve Gulley   Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Matt Combs   Fiddle
Andy Hall   Dobro
Sierra Hull   Mandolin,Mandola,Vocal Harmony
Mike Sumner   Banjo
David Long   Mandolin

Technical Credits

Alison Brown   Producer
Pam Tillis   Composer
Reba Rambo   Composer
Dale Ann Bradley   Composer
Dallas Frazier   Composer
Jeff White   Composer
Joe Isaacs   Composer
Kim Fox   Composer
Steve Gulley   Composer
Leslie Satcher   Composer
Joe Ahr   Composer
Darrell Crofts   Composer
Russell Allen   Composer
Jim Cooley   Engineer
Sarah Pirkle   Composer
Juanita Pennington   Composer
Jimmy Seals   Composer
Russell Dale Johnson   Composer
Georges Relles   Engineer

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Somewhere South of Crazy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Joe_Ross More than 1 year ago
Dale Ann Bradley is a defining bluegrass voice of our time. After reviewing Dale Ann Bradley's third solo album project "Catch Tomorrow" back in 2007, I felt she was perfectly poised to break through and win IBMA's Female Vocalist of the Year Award, an honor she'd been nominated for in 2006. Sure enough, Dale Ann subsequently won the award for three years running, in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Dale Ann's 2011 release "Somewhere South of Crazy" documents the artist's musical maturity, and it is also acknowledges the strength of her 26-year vocal collaboration with Steve Gulley, a fine guitarist and singer in his own right who also contributed to writing "Restoring the Love." Others singing some harmony vocals on this CD include Pam Tillis (Somewhere South of Crazy), Kim Fox (Round and Round, Summer Breeze, Next to Nothing), and Sierra Hull (Come Home Good Boy). Hull's nimble-fingered mandolin playing is always a treat to hear. Other noteworthy instrumental support comes from Stuart Duncan, Mike Bub, Andy Hall, Matt Combs, David Long, Mike Summer and the album's astute producer Alison Brown. The title cut stemmed from a joint writing session that Dale Ann and Pam Tillis had in Nashville. A Kentucky preacher's daughter, Dale Ann has smooth voice, band, songwriting and storytelling. From her own pen in collaboration with Jeff White and Kim Fox, "Leaving Kentucky" presents a nice balance of nostalgia and optimism. "Round and Round" is the first song that Dale Ann's written solely by herself in many years. It's a reflective piece that focuses on the dichotomy of loving music and travelling, but still feeling a strong force pulling one back to embrace important values closer to home. She once said, "When you've got the desire to write and sing, it's who you are...It's important to express something long lasting. Music has the power to be a healing thing." Written by Sarah Pickle, "Come Home Good Boy" is a tribute to loved ones oversees, and it's a prayer song that they are protected and come home safely. Dale Ann has always liked to take songs from other genres and 'grass them up too. "Summer Breeze" was a 1970s acoustic pop hit for Jim Seals & Dash Crofts, and it's a pleasant fit for this album. Perhaps she'll record more of their hits (like "Hummingbird" and "Diamond Girl") in the future. She also renders an engaging rendition of Dallas Frazier's "Will You Visit Me on Sundays?" "Somewhere South of Crazy" has a lot of calming and uplifting qualities, but it also has its hard-driving uptempo bluegrass moments (such as the songs "In Despair" and "New Shoes"). Dale Ann Bradley is a passionate and compelling singer with meaningful songs to sing. Recognizing the importance of her songs' messages, she continues to emphasize such values as encouragement, consolation, faith, hope, compassion and love. This album clearly depicts her current self-confidence, maturity and happiness. (Joe Ross)