Danny Paisley started playing bluegrass music over 40 years ago; he started young, he stresses. Initially that was with his long-time buddy TJ Lundy as the duo played with Ted Lundy and Danny’s father Bob Paisley. Danny played with the band and, like acorns, he never fell far from the tree, delivering “great bluegrass music of the purest type”, as David McLaughlin describes it in his notes for Danny Paisley’s new CD, Weary River. McLaughlin adds, it “is about soul and honest emotion”.
Paisley himself says it’s “Like my previous releases; it has a few old songs. A couple of new ones. We also did a few numbers from my Dad’s catalog.”
Uncle Ned and Merle Haggard’s Somewhere Between can be found on the Bob Paisley CD release of 1994, Back to the Blue Ridge. Marty Robbins’ Mother Knows Best, is from an even earlier album Ted Lundy and the Southern Mountain Boys LP, as recorded in August 1972.
Other songs taken from archives are the Beatles’ Don’t Pass Me By (from the White album),
Marty Robbins The Letter Edged in Black and Talk To Your Heart, as recorded by Ray Price in 1958.
“My life long friend, TJ Lundy, who recently returned to the band, did a great version of the old time tune Grey Eagle”, says Paisley of another track on his new CD.
Another instrumental included in this 13-track collection is Mark Delaney’s Fall Branch.
Paisley goes on to say, “The title cut is a Chris Stuart song. We made into a lonesome, lost love [song]”.
Stuart offers, “I didn’t write it specifically for Danny, but when he asked if I had any new tunes, I immediately thought this one would be perfect for him”.
He adds, “I think the best bluegrass songs are about despair, so the challenge was to make this one as unrelenting as possible. If you get any feeling of hope while hearing it, then I’ve failed.”
By the sounds of it, Weary River really is made for Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass, who for the album are Danny Paisley (vocals and guitar), Mark Delaney (banjo), TJ Lundy (fiddle), Eric Troutman (vocals and bass), and Ryan Paisley, just 15 years old at the time of the recordings, playing mandolin.
In one way, this new release has one feature that no other Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass album has, “For the very first time I decided to use a Dobro® on a couple of numbers”, Paisley reveals. Playing the Dobro® on four tracks is Russ Hooper.
Two other guests are Doug Meek, playing fiddle on seven tracks, and Tom Mindte, who sings baritone on Somewhere Between.
Paisley concludes, “With this album I wanted to give homage to my 40 years of playing bluegrass [music]”.
The full list of the tracks on this CD is ….
Darling Nellie Across the Sea / Uncle Ned / Fall Branch / Somewhere Between / Don’t Pass Me By / The Letter Edged in Black / Come Hither to Go Yonder / Mother Knows Best / Old Southern Sky / Please Don’t Honey Please / Grey Eagle / Talk To Your Heart / Weary River.