Those who have listened regularly to the Ray Davis show or are familiar with some of the Plum Pitiful recordings that have been released down through the years will be familiar with the name Scott Brannon, a regular in Davis’s basement band, which, incidentally, does not include Davis himself.
Scott Brannon has a deep-rooted affinity with bluegrass music that stretches back to his early years when his father had a bluegrass band and he has reached back to that era in selecting the dozen songs that he recorded for Your Old Standby (Patuxent CD 241).
Favorites for the Brannons were Reno & Smiley and Hank Williams. The duo are represented by two songs, both lesser known pieces; Mountain Church and Your Tears Are Just Interest On the Loan. Williams penned three numbers; the opener, the lament Wedding Bells, Singing Waterfall and the up-lifting Sing, Sing, Sing.
The choice of Jim Eanes’ Your Old Standby draws attention to the similarity between their voices. Nevertheless, there is a pathos to Brannon’s voice that is well suited to singing a Hank Williams song.
Also in the honky-tonk vein is Moore & Napier’s Georgia Bound, while their My Dear One is as deep catalogue as it gets.
Brannon’s smooth, effortless style is also well-suited to I Overlooked An Orchid, I Still Miss Someone and, from the Charlie Moore repertoire and popularized by Bill Harrell, Cold November Rain.
Assisting Brannon, who played rhythm guitar throughout are Michael Cleveland (fiddles), David McLaughlin (mandolin, lead guitar and harmony vocals), Marshall Wilborn (bass), Lloyd Douglas (banjo and guitar), Tracey Ruhrbaugh and Tom Mindte (both contribute excellent harmony vocals).
Your Old Standby is a true throw back album; very likable.
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About the Author (Author Profile)
Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.
A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.
He wrote the annotated series I’m On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.
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