There’s something to be said for maintaining an optimistic attitude. Not surprisingly then, A Life Well Lived, Daryl Mosley’s latest on Pinecastle Records, lives up to its title and provides more than a hint of nostalgia and some guaranteed good vibes. While the title track encourages the listener to take a positive perspective, the majority of the songs — Walking Man, Big God, Hillbilly Graham, Thankful, Working Man’s Prayer, and The Bible in the Drawer — veer towards more spiritual sensibilities, affirming the fact that Mosley finds spirituality and satisfaction go more or less hand-in-hand.
That said, Mosley clearly has a certain fondness for past precepts, be it the carefree innocence of childhood memories that are recalled in Back When We Were Boys, the promising premise of We Need More Of That or the idyllic existence of small town life as offered through Mayberry State of Mind. So too, the effusive harmonies provided by Jaelee Roberts, Riley Dotson, Sarah Davidson, Ronnie Booth, and Jeanette Williams enhance and amplify the overall exuberance. Likewise the precise mandolin picking of the Grascals’ Danny Roberts, the nimble guitar and banjo playing of Tony Wray, and the assured fiddle contributions from Adam Haynes, give the music the bright, vibrant tones these melodies clearly call for. Aside from singing lead, Mosley anchors the proceeding on bass, and he and Roberts share the production credits between them.
A Life Well Lived marks the third solo album Mosley has made following his days as lead singer for the band New Tradition, his membership in the Osborne Brothers’ band, and The Farm Hands. Lauded by the press, he’s scored nine number one singles, any number of songs covered by other artists, three Songwriter of the Year awards, and a like number of wins for Song of the Year from SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America). Nevertheless, he’s never forgotten the small town roots he gleaned from the place he still proudly called home, Waverly, Tennessee.
That honesty and humility are intrinsically embedded in every one of these original offerings, allowing for a celebratory sound emitted from every note and nuance. Given the disappointment and despair that seems to plague the world today, A Life Well Lived offers an uplifting example of how to maintain one’s happiness, even in spite of setbacks. Listeners would be well advised to shore up on that sentiment.