Songs from Wildwood Valley

Songs from Wildwood Valley

4.0 1
by Wildwood Valley Boys
     
 
One underlying factor that makes traditional bluegrass so pleasing is its ability to cut right through to the emotional heart of things. While it may seem odd to compare bluegrass to punk, both musics hit the listener in the gut, not the head. The Wildwood Valley Boys combine this basic old-time approach with new material to

Overview

One underlying factor that makes traditional bluegrass so pleasing is its ability to cut right through to the emotional heart of things. While it may seem odd to compare bluegrass to punk, both musics hit the listener in the gut, not the head. The Wildwood Valley Boys combine this basic old-time approach with new material to produce an album that breathes of living -- not musty -- tradition. The twist here is that certain subject matters -- sex, for instance --are treated a little more forthrightly than Bill Monroe might have been comfortable with. In Aubrey Holt's fine original "Sweet Loretta," the narrator recalls, "I tasted your love and I knew you were mine." "Making Memories" covers an elicit affair to the sad refrain of Harley Gabbard's Dobro with the lovely line, "We're just making memories to haunt our future lives." These songs, however, must be taken within the context of more conservative material. The album opens with a nifty bit of Americana titled "Jeremiah Callahan's Medicine Show," which is followed by a proud portrait of the working class, "The Spirit of America." Tony Holt is a fine singer and receives great backup from mandolinist David Long, banjoist Wes Vanderpool, and bassist Kevin Kehrberg. The Wildwood Valley Boys also pay homage to their bluegrass forefathers, Monroe and Lester Flatt. Songs From Wildwood Valley is a finely executed traditional album filled with a number of memorable new songs.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2003
Label:
Rebel Records
UPC:
0032511179920
catalogNumber:
111799
Rank:
196774

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wildwood Valley Boys   Primary Artist
David Long   Mandolin,Tenor (Vocal)
Harley Gabbard   Dobro,Baritone (Vocal)
Aubrey Holt   Baritone (Vocal),Tenor (Vocal)
Tony Holt   Guitar,Vocals
Wes Vanderpool   Banjo
Aaron Till   Fiddle
Kevin Kehrberg   Bass

Technical Credits

Lester Flatt   Composer
Bill Monroe   Composer
Geddy Lee   Composer
Alex Lifeson   Composer
Neil Peart   Composer
Sonny Throckmorton   Composer
Aubrey Holt   Composer
Otis Dillon   Engineer
Wildwood Valley Boys   Producer
Marvin Davis   Composer
Tony Holt   Composer

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Songs from Wildwood Valley 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Wildwood Valley Boys, from Indiana, are carrying on the bluegrass family tradition of the legendary Boys from Indiana. Guitarist and lead vocalist Tony Holt is the son of Aubrey Holt, who wrote eight of the twelve cuts on this project. The elder Holt also sings tenor and baritone on his self-penned "Big Time Johnny." The rest of the Wildwood Valley Boys are David Long (mandolin, tenor vocals), Wes Vanderpool (banjo), and Kevin Kehrberg (bass). Besides Aubrey Holt, other special guests include Aaron Till on fiddle, and Harlan Gabbard playing dobro and singing baritone. Harlan is Tony Holt's cousin and one of the original Wildwood Valley Boys. His father Harley Gabbard was a member of the Boys From Indiana. Since the Wildwood Valley Boys released their first album for Rebel Records in 1999, they've had a few personnel changes, but they haven't lost an iota of momentum. Besides Tony Holt, another original Wildwood Valley Boy is Wes Vanderpool, a banjo player who first started playing as a teenager, then went on to pick with Melvin Goins and the Bluegrass Thoroughbreds. This 12-track project is now the fourth album from the band, and it shows that they've achieved an even greater level of experience and maturity. It builds on their formula for success that revolves around fresh traditional-sounding material, well-blended vocals, and unpretentious yet solid instrumental prowess. Anything but trite, these songs appeal to staunch traditionalists who have certain expectations and enjoy powerful images or messages in their bluegrass music. "Jeremiah Callahan's Medicine Show," written by Marvin Davis, tells of a charming traveling salesman who sold 90 proof tonic. Of Aubrey Holt's compositions, a patriotic "The Spirit of America," Monroe tribute "The Big Man of Rosine," swingy "Big Time Johnny," countrified "Making Memories," and rousing "Talkin' in my Sleep" are standouts. Tony Holt wrote "I'm Not the Drifter," a nostalgic waltz-time ballad of lost love. The project closes with Sonny Throckmorton's "The Way I Am" and Flatt and Monroe's "When You Are Lonely." The album, Songs from Wildwood Valley, packs a double-riveted neo-traditional punch, and you'll find the sound and material very reminiscent of bluegrass' yesteryear. A band's ability to expertly present this kind of sound, with new original material, takes considerable skill and knack. The band obviously knows what their fans like, how to thrill them, and that is exactly what they serve up. Plus, their music's all in the family, and it's nice to see their tradition carried on. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)