Alecia Nugent – Hillbilly Goddess

Alecia Nugent - Hillbilly GoddessThe new CD from Alecia Nugent, Hillbilly Goddess, officially hit yesterday (5/12) on Rounder Records.

To mark its release, they have put together a contest with prizes that echo the theme of the title track, with the winner receiving logo merchandise (hats, t-shirts, key chains, glassware) from Rounder, John Deer, Smith & Wesson and Alecia herself.

The song is a clever, witty number written by Nugent along with Sonya Kelly and project producer Carl Jackson – a tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating look at what it means to earn the HG honorific.

Hillbilly Goddess  –  Listen now:    []

It’s a fun romp (with JD Crowe on banjo) which seems destined to be a radio favorite. Let’s hope Rounder has a music video planned for this track.

To enter the contest, just listen to the whole track on Alecia’s site and let them know why your significant other is the ultimate Hillbilly Goddess.

There is a great deal to admire about this album. It is a great example of how much can go right with a new recording when a group of extremely talented people are involved at multiple levels. Jackson has produced two previous albums for Nugent, both stellar works, and this one is no different. The audio fidelity is brilliant and the backing musicians superb.

Every song is a gem and Alecia sings with authority, passion and grace. The production and arrangements (as per other Carl Jackson-related releases) owe much to the way modern country music is recorded. For instance, there are two acoustic guitar tracks on almost every song (Tim Stafford and Andy Falco) and subtle percussion is also found throughout.

For all that, however, the sound is acoustic and when not distinctly bluegrass, is always informed by the traditions that Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and The Osbornes left us, with touches of “real country” music. Adam Steffey is on mandolin, Andy Leftwich on fiddle, Thomas Wyrot on banjo, Rob Ickes on resonator guitar, Kevin Grant on bass and Todd Creasman on drums.

A couple of other tracks that really stood out were The Last Greyhound and The Nugent Family Band. The first, by Tim Stafford and Craig Market, is a tender ballad about a child leaving home.

The Last Greyhound  –  Listen now:    []

I won’t spoil the rest of the story, but let’s just say that it turns out much better than Stafford’s similar tale in Midwestern Town. Thanks guys!

The Nugent Family Band is a biographical take on Alecia’s having grown up playing music with her family. She wrote it with Tom T. and Dixie Hall, and it is simply a charming song.

The Nugent Family Band  –  Listen now:    []

There isn’t a dud on this disc. Congratulations to all involved.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.