One of the advantages of operating a news resource like Bluegrass Today is the opportunity to hear new CD releases before they are sent to radio, or made available to the general public. There is nothing like being in on a secret, especially when it’s a good’n.
The new CD from Dale Ann Bradley, Catch Tomorrow, surely falls into this category. Even in a long career filled with stellar recordings, this new project really catches the ear.
Many observers have noted that with as pure a voice as Dale Ann possess, and such a knack for choosing material suited for its strengths, she must only lack the support of a top notch band, and a record label willing and able to promote her, to see some legitimate success in this business.
The bands she has had for several years, and like so many in bluegrass, the membership is ever changing. Catch Tomorrow features primarily the members who contributed this past few years, like Michael Cleveland, Jesse Brock and Pete Kelly now departed, with Brock moving to Europe to marry and make music, and Cleveland and Kelly forming Michael’s new Flamekeeper band with Audie Blaylock. She now has vets Deanie Richardson and Scott Napier on the road with her and long-time bassist Vicki Simmons, and a new banjo hire is anticipated shortly.
With Catch Tomorrow, her debut collaboration with Compass Records, there is hope that the business partnership side of the equation is in place as well. This new release was produced by Compass founder and President, Alison Brown, who also contributes her banjo on several tracks. Dale Ann gives great credit to Brown for help with song selection and arranging, and it could be argued that this is the most cohesive and start-to-finish strong project from Bradley to date.
Much of the strongest material comes from Dale Ann herself, with autobiographical touches on songs like Run Rufus Run and Grandma’s Gift that tell as much about the world she grew up in as it does the actual characters in the stories. There is also a simply marvelous country-style duet with Marty Rabon on the old Dolly and Porter song, Holding On To Nothing, and a sparse and moving Gospel duet with Larry Sparks on Pass Me Not.
Dale Ann’s web site offers a few audio samples from the new release, and a pre-order option exists. It isn’t clear whether the orders can be shipped right away, or will arrive after the release date, but they are being accepted online now.
We have a terrific interview with Dale Ann which will be the subject of an upcoming episode of The GrassCast. It will be available here on Bluegrass Today and to all GrassCast subscribers closer to the official release date for the new CD (October 10). She talks at some length about her early days performing in Renfro Valley, KY and with The Coon Creek Girls as well as her more recent musical endeavors.