Down Home

Down Home

by Josh Williams
5.0 1


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Down Home

In 2010, Josh Williams received the most prestigious honor in his long career: the International Bluegrass Music Association's "Emerging Artist of the Year" award, despite the fact that he'd been playing professionally since he was ten. To make things even stranger, he hadn't even issued a recording under his own name in five years. The work for Down Home began for Pinecastle in 2006, and was scheduled for a February 2009 release. However, due to the failing health of owner Tom Riggs, the label shut down and the disc was shelved. Rounder eventually purchased it. Williams produced the set himself, and chose 12 songs that range from traditional bluegrass to old-school country, written by legendary songwriters: Jimmy Martin, the Delmore Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Flatt & Scruggs, Vern Gosdin, Tommy Jackson, and Carl Jackson, to mention a few. Williams plays guitar, mandolin, and banjo, and sings lead in his open tenor. He is backed by an all-star unit that includes alternating bassists Mickey Harris and Tim Dishman, banjoists Greg Cahill and Aaron McDaris, fiddlers Jason Carter and Stuart Duncan, guitarist Randy Kohrs, and pedal steel boss Doug Jernigan. There is also a guest performance by Tony Rice on the stellar, swinging "Blue Railroad Train." Rage bandmate Rhonda Vincent provides harmony vocals on three of the albums best cuts: opener "Lonesome Feeling," "Kodak 1955," and "Polka on the Banjo." Tommy Jackson's "Cherokee Shuffle," features Williams on all three of his instruments backed by Duncan and Harris in a dizzying display or musicianship. The uptempo bluegrass reading of Homer Joy's classic "Streets of Bakersfield" is presented in a striking arrangement with Kenny Ingram on fiddle juxtaposed against Jernigan's steel. Williams' playing throughout is typically astonishing. Though capable of throwing down with the very best on any of his chosen instruments, he never plays more than necessary to get a song across. Check the title track written by Carl Jackson; it's a ballad with wonderful interplay between Williams' guitar and mandolin, Duncan's fiddle, and Jernigan's steel; the harmonies by the author, Williams, and Tina Adair are deeply moving. Down Home is the fulfillment of the vast potential Williams has shown throughout his career as both a sideman and a solo artist.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/15/2011
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661066120
catalogNumber: 610661
Rank: 105834

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Josh Williams   Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Tony Rice   Guitar
Rhonda Vincent   Vocal Harmony
Greg Cahill   Banjo
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Carl Jackson   Vocal Harmony
Darrin Vincent   Vocal Harmony
Tony Creasman   Percussion
Kenny Ingram   Banjo
Tina Adair   Vocal Harmony
Jamie Dailey   Vocal Harmony
Tim Dishman   Acoustic Bass,Vocal Harmony
Aaron McDaris   Banjo
Mickey Harris   Acoustic Bass,Vocal Harmony
Jason Carter   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Tom T. Hall   Composer
George Williams   Composer
Carl Jackson   Composer
Tommy Jackson   Composer
Homer Joy   Composer
Jimmy Martin   Composer
Tom Riggs   Executive Producer
Kurt Storey   Engineer
L.E. White   Composer
Josh Williams   Producer
Paula Wolak   Engineer
Robert K. Oermann   Liner Notes
Alton Delmore   Composer
Rabon Delmore   Composer
Michael Ballew   Composer
Darren Wilcox   Composer
Sylvia Rutledge   Composer
Murray F. Cannon   Composer
Dixie Hall   Composer
Billy Henson   Composer
Steven Paul Spurgeon   Composer
Daniel Luallen   Composer
Richard Tillman   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Down Home 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Joe_Ross More than 1 year ago
As I first began to spin this solo album from Josh Williams, I must admit that I wasn't quite expecting his rendition of "Lonesome Feeling" to incorporate a pulsing, metrical drum track. It's nothing personal against Tony Creasman's musicianship or his percussion that doesn't appear again until the last five album tracks. I just feel that Josh's guitar and mandolin are more than adequate to rhythmically carry the music on this album, especially those from the bluegrass tree. However, we also find that Josh Williams has his feet planted in multiple genres and has an innate ability to convey many moods with his music. The liner notes compare Josh Williams' spark and verve to that of a young Dwight Yoakam or Randy Travis. Further, his repertoire draws from the songs of Jimmy Martin, Tom T. Hall, Carl Jackson, Vern Gosdin, Flatt & Scruggs, Special Consensus, Buck Owens, Tommy Jackson, and The Delmore Brothers. The more you listen to "Down Home," the more you'll appreciate the sturdy and self-assured presentation of this young man with his thrilling virtuosity, versatility and emotional impact. The multiple IBMA and SPBGMA award winner may be best known as an instrumentalist, the former guitarist in Rhonda Vincent's band. But Josh can also deliver understated, thoughtful, delicate vocals. With its mellow percussion and pedal steel guitar, "Down Home" (the title cut written by Carl Jackson) is a wistful ballad and perhaps the best example of Josh's stylistic delivery of expressive, enticing country vocals. "Kodak 1955" has a carefully cultivated nostalgic theme. Master songcrafters Tom T. and Dixie Hall always know how to turn a phrase and find a catchy hook as they do with "We'll Burn That Bridge" . when we get to it. Guest harmony vocalists include Rhonda Vincent, Tim Dishman, Mickey Harris, Darrin Vincent, Jamie Dailey, Carl Jackson, and Tina Adair. Guest instrumental artists include Tony Rice, Stuart Duncan, Jason Carter, Randy Kohrs, Kenny Ingram, Greg Cahill, and others. "Blue Railroad Train" is a perfect piece for Tony Rice's alluring guitar work. Besides his own prevalent and tasteful guitar and mandolin, it's a treat to hear Josh also shake it up on banjo on the instrumental "Cherokee Shuffle." Josh Williams' "Down Home" is a well-crafted collection of enjoyable, stirring contemporary bluegrass music with distinctive country spice. Whether your preference is for a soulful bluegrass ballad, feisty toe-tapper, or rootsy country song, "Down Home" is a thrilling ride from start to finish. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, Oregon)