Broke Down in Arkansas from Missy Armstrong

It looks like Missy Armstrong is back, at least to the bluegrass radio world. The incandescent songbird has been a true bright light in the bluegrass world of late, appearing with the Michigan-based Detour for several years, before stepping aside to keep her attention on her family and home. The band still does a few shows each year, but with one teenager left at home, Missy has a full plate on the home front to be concerned with.

But without even meaning too, she has been recording singles for Milan Miller and Buddy Melton’s label, Melton & Miller Music. It’s not that she cut them accidentally, but more that she had no intention of going into the studio. But Milan kept sending her great songs and asking her to record them. One such, Ain’t Going Down To The River, has been a big hit on our Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay chart, and this week she has a follow-up.

Broke Down In Arkansas was written by Cindy Baucom, Beth Husband, and Milan Miller, which Missy recorded with an all star band. Aubrey Haynie is on fiddle, Noam Pikelny on banjo, Seth Taylor on mandolin, Buddy Melton on bass, and Milan Miller on guitar. Buddy and Milan provided the harmony vocals.

It shares the familiar story of how difficult it can be to try to pick up your life and move on. Missy sings it beautifully, supported by Noam’s moody, low-tuned banjo.

Armstrong tells us that the song hit her as soon as she heard it.

“Broke Down in Arkansas is one of those songs that I connected with right away. There are so many phrases that paint such a vivid picture. I am so grateful that in its journey this song made its way to me. The songwriting and musicianship of the entire group are out of this world.”  

Here’s a taste in this video preview…

Broke Down In Arkansas is available now wherever you stream or download bluegrass online, and to radio programmers via AirPlay Direct.

It’s a good’n.

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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.