As first reported in this publication in March, 2021, Acoustic Lullaby was the brainchild of acclaimed bluegrass banjo player and guitarist Tony Wray, Pinecastle Records owner Lonnie Lassiter, and the company’s CEO, Ethan Burkhardt. Lassiter and Burkhardt were new fathers at the time, and, quite naturally, eager to entice their newborns with some seductive melodies. The project that resulted stays true to tradition while also employing the signature sound their record label is known for.
Wray was eager to take the challenge, and working in tandem with fiddler Tim Crouch, he created instrumental adaptations of ten familiar favorites. The songs are well known to adolescents everywhere, but taken in tandem, these selections take on new tones and textures in the hands of Wray and Crouch. Brahms Lullaby, Greensleeves, London Bridge Is Falling Down, Three Blind Mice, Frere Jacques, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are transformed from their nursery rhyme status into stately and elegiac soundscapes flush with articulate arrangements and hymnal-like treatments. The transformation is so remarkable in fact that it often takes a closer listen to discern any actual connection to the original offerings. That’s not a bad thing however, especially considering the deeper depth plied from the duo’s thoughtful approach. Though based in bluegrass, the results simulate a symphonic sound, one that’s soothing and sensitive in equal measure.
Ultimately then, Acoustic Lullaby delivers its intended purpose, and poses the possibility that it could someday become a standard soundtrack for any parent seeking a soothing and sedate means of lulling their infants to sleep. At the same time, it gives mom and dad something to enjoy in the process. Notably too, empty nesters may find it a calming collection as well, given that it’s an ideal antidote for anyone who’s become unnerved by the tumult and turbulence that invades daily life.
Consider it an ideal means of introducing babies to bluegrass. Hopefully it will create an indelible impression that lingers for a lifetime.