Rebel Records recently announced that the label had signed Mickey Galyean & Cullen’s Bridge, from the musically rich area of Lowgap, North Carolina, stating that their debut album for Rebel, My Daddy’s Grass, is due out this summer.
If you think that you have heard the name Galyean before, Mickey is the son of the late Cullen Galyean, a prominent banjo player and one of the region’s leading bluegrass musicians in his time. Judging by earlier recordings, the band has very strong ties to tradition with some great original material in their repertoire.
As then, three parts of the quartet are Galyean (guitar and lead and tenor vocals), Rick Pardue (banjo, three finger style guitar, tenor and baritone vocals) and Brad Hiatt, (acoustic bass and lead, tenor and baritone vocals) with veteran fiddle player Billy Hawks, a Galax fiddle competition winner and a member of some prominent acts, including Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Big Country Bluegrass and Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice.
The band had already recorded the tracks before going to Rebel Records. Galyean adds,
“We recorded at Eastwood Studios with the great Wesley Easter”.
Galyean continues ……
“Rick Pardue wrote five out of 12 songs on the project. Brad Hiatt is a great writer but he did not write anything for this project.”
He directs his thoughts to each of the tracks, as he talks us through the various songs on the forthcoming album ……..
“The first song is The Day I Found My Daddy’s Grass, written by Rick Pardue; it will be the title cut. This song is about a boy going through his daddy’s things after he passes and finding all his great bluegrass records. Charming Betsy is one I remember my dad Cullen Galyean doing on a Virginia Mountain Boys album. Dark as a Dungeon by Merle Travis; I always loved the Country Gentleman’s version.
Mama I saw Jesus was a song Rick wrote, about a story my mother told Rick one night about my brother seeing Jesus in his hospital bed while dying of cancer at nine. Sweethearts in Heaven is an old Stanley Brothers classic that, with the help of modern technology, Wesley Easter added James King’s voice to a few verses from an earlier never-released recording he had from back in the 1980s. One Loaf of Bread by Dave Evans, one of my favorite singers in bluegrass. I’d have a Dime written by Rick Pardue is just a fun little song. Brother Paul written by Robert Holthauser and Rick Pardue actually won the MerleFest Chris Austin songwriting competition. Cold Cold World by James King; I heard it on an old Webco Recording and feel in love with it. Trail Blazer is a great fiddle tune written by our very own Billy Hawks. Take Care of My Babies was penned by Rick Pardue and it sounds like it came from the early days of bluegrass and, last but certainly not least, Home with the Blues by Cullen Galyean off the Border Mountain Boys album.
When it was all finished I sent it to Dave and Mark Freeman to see if they were interested and. thank God, they were. We look forward to all the things to come from this and I thank Rebel Records for giving us a chance.”
Rebel Records owner Dave Freeman is excited to be working with another member of the Galyean family……
“It is a unique and very special event for Rebel Records to present this upcoming release by Mickey Galyean and his fine group Cullen’s Bridge.”
Rebel Records recorded Cullen Galyean’s Foot Hill Boys’ album, and the Border Mountain Boys LP, Bluegrass On the Mountain, was released on Freeman’s short-lived Homestead Records label (Homestead 101).
Returning to the new Cullen’s Bridge album Mark Freeman advises, “There is no video planned at this time”.