Walking Song, the new CD: Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, Kate Rusby, and Suzanne and Evelyn Cox add harmony vocals, while Sam Bush, Mike Compton, Sierra Hull and Dan Tyminski share mandolin duties, Stuart Duncan fiddles, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes play Dobro, Barry Bales keeps the bottom end going on bass, Jeff Taylor fills things out with accordion and concertina, and John Joe Kelly busts the bodhran. Walking Song is made up of eleven original songs co-written with poet/lyricist Rebecca Reynolds, including two original gospel songs, and three instrumentals for a total of 14 tracks. To read the review of Walking Song and listen to a track on the Rabbit Room, click here. To order from the Rabbit Room, click here. To order from Amazon, click here.
From Jewly Hight’s liner notes:
“You’ll find that Ron has composed and arranged his way across centuries of folk and popular lineage with his nuanced knowledge and modern ear, putting his playful spin on Celtic balladry, old-time romps, soul-searing Appalachian modal melodies, nimble folk tunes, tradition-steeped bluegrass, groove-driven newgrass and contemporary singer-songwriter fare. The music finds a perfect match in Rebecca’s elevated use of imagery and rhyme, her strikingly poetic, period-appropriate word choice and their shared interest in writing songs that speak to a rich range of human experience, the fun, fervent and contemplative moments alike.”
“It’s hard to imagine a singer sounding any more natural than Ron does delivering these lines, his phrasing crisp and his timbre light and warm. That’s to say nothing of the eloquent communicating he does with his hands; for him, playing is “a means of helping the song say what it wants to say.” And, for the first time, he’s playing all of the guitar and banjo parts, from the lighthearted solo runs laced through “Ivy” to the deliciously droll licks that give “Sunshine Billy” its spunk and the soulful simplicity he brings to an instrumental reading of the hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This.”
“As for Ron’s accompanists, they’re every bit the dream team you’d expect from a picker/singer/songwriter of his stature: Sam Bush, Mike Compton and Sierra Hull on mandolin, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes on Dobro, Barry on bass and no less than Alison, Dan Tyminski, Kate Rusby and Suzanne Cox singing harmony. Those familiar with the lineup of Union Station will read that abbreviated list of guests and know that it means sometime between the opening and closing notes, everyone in Ron’s longtime band gets a chance to back him while he does his own, singular thing.”