Born Again Bluegrass – Marty Falle

Marty Falle finds a natural fit when it comes to his love of bluegrass. That’s been the case since early on, when he was inadvertently introduced to the form by a fictitious bluegrass group called the Darlings, the band that often appeared on the old The Andy Griffith Show, but were, in fact, the bluegrass band of some renown otherwise known as The Dillards.

He was further enamored with the genre when he spent time as a college student in Athens, Ohio. It also happened to be home to a record store called Bel Eagle Music which frequently featured live music performed by local musicians on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, dobro, and all the other bluegrass basics. While employed as a traveling law book salesman, he was relocated to Eastern Kentucky and it was there that he was given the opportunity to immerse himself in the sounds that were so inherent to the musical traditions of those particular realms. 

He applied the lessons he learned with three top charting albums in the last year alone, Kentucky Bluestar, My Farm, My Bluegrass and his latest offering, Born Again Bluegrass. All have reaped international honors, and made their way to the top of the charts. An extremely prolific songwriter, he doesn’t depend on the major label machinery to get his efforts out into the world, preferring instead to do all it takes entirely on his own.

Not surprisingly then, the 15 songs that grace the new album hold true to a traditional template, although the tone and treatment vary throughout. Blue Blaze Breakdown, Hillbilly Stomp, and Lost Creek Revival, are, as the titles imply, rousing and robust. On the other hand, Colorado, Appalachia Blue, Ohio, and Fades are touching and tender in terms of imagery and ideals. 

The song Long Long Road shares its story in a spiritual way…

“Spread my wings and shatter air,
This is where I come aware,
At the end of this long long road…
And all my fears and all my sins,
I just whistle down the wind,
At the end of this long long road…”

The players he’s worked with include producer Jonathan Yudkin, who also plays playing fiddle and mandolin, guitarist Carl Miner, veteran bassist Michael Bub, Rob Ickes on dobro, Josh Matheny on steel, and Matt Menefee and Tim Carter on banjo. Marty Slayton, Kim Parent, and Beth Green contribute backing vocals, and Falle himself wrote all the songs, plays guitar and provides lead and backing vocals.

Ultimately then, Born Again Bluegrass represents another stunning achievement from an artist who can claim that bluegrass is in his blood. The craft and commitment make that idea apparent. 

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About the Author

Lee Zimmerman

Lee Zimmerman has been a writer and reviewer for the better part of the past 20 years. He writes for the following publications — No Depression, Goldmine, Country Standard TIme, Paste, Relix, Lincoln Center Spotlight, Fader, and Glide. A lifelong music obsessive and avid collector, he firmly believes that music provides the soundtrack for our lives and his reverence for the artists, performers and creative mind that go into creating their craft spurs his inspiration and motivation for every word hie writes.