Dark Shadow Recording has a new single from their next project with Becky Buller on offer, her reworking of a classic from the early days of bluegrass. It finds her paired up with Americana hero Jim Lauderdale for a novel take on an emblematic Reno & Smiley song recorded in 1958.
Wall Around Your Heart, written by Don Reno, had appeared on their Country Singing & Instrumentals album on King Records in 1962, following its initial release as a single four years earlier. Several other covers had preceded this one, and Buller chose it to include on her upcoming all-covers album.
Becky says this one came to her second hand through Tony Rice and Doyle Lawson’s duet from the California Connection album in 1983.
“The Bluegrass Album Band introduced me to this lovely Reno & Smiley tune. The wide-ranging melody caught my attention; the line about ‘the walls of Jericho’ reeled me in.
I truly feel there’s a parallel dimension wherein we’re all talking about the songwriting of Don Reno in the same hallowed tones as that of Hank Cochran, Willie Nelson, and Bill Anderson.
This is probably the most traditional bluegrass cut I’ve ever recorded; Jeremy, Lauren, Missy, Stuart, and Mojo gave it just the right vibe. And, of course, it was a blast getting to sing with Jim.
Hope y’all enjoy this and thanks so very much for giving it a listen!”
Support in the studio came from Jeremy Stephens on banjo, noted for his study of Don’s banjo playing, and Bill Monroe mandolin disciple Lauren Price-Napier, along with Stephen Mougin on guitar, and Missy Raines on bass. Stuart Duncan added the twin fiddle.
Have a listen…