The world of bluegrass is full of hot pickers and singers, but very few appear as triple threats; singing, playing, and writing their own material. With the release of a brand new ten song, thirty-two minute album entitled Down Another Lonesome Highway, Carl Caldwell has proven just how capable he is at all three.
Growing up in southern West Virginia and having amassed quite a collection of contest ribbons from different states, Carl has proven himself as a rock solid musician. Throughout the project he plays mandolin, guitar, and bass while also showcasing his praiseworthy vocal abilities. Six of the ten tracks included on this project feature Carl singing all three parts (lead, tenor, baritone) while providing at least two harmony parts on every vocal number on the record.
The album’s opener and upbeat title track Down Another Lonesome Highway begins with a note-matching mandolin/guitar intro which seems to set the tone for the entire project: traditional bluegrass played in a modern style. This album isn’t all mash though, with soft melodies of songs like I Like Being Daddy and Lainie’s Song providing a nice balance throughout this set of music. Other noteworthy numbers include It’s a Dirty Job and the catchy melody of Moonshine in the Hills, a bouncy number depicting the tale of Garfield Bailey, a moonshiner who teaches the dangerous trade to his son.
Carl also had several talented musicians join him while recording this project at Craig’s Place Recording in Lebanon, TN. Assisting musicians include multi-instrumentalist Craig Fletcher, Don Hill on banjo, Josh Ulbrich with dobro, Tony King’s lead vocal on I Like Being Daddy, and Clarence Kelley’s James King-esque lead vocal on Grandaddy’s Farm.
Overall, Down Another Lonesome Highway is a worthwhile recording. The choice of material provides a good selection of songs that blends well together, creating a collection of tunes which can simply be placed on repeat. Moreover, the musicianship shown throughout is commendable. This album has the potential to appeal to a wide audience, including both fans of modern and traditional bluegrass alike. Listeners are sure to appreciate Carl’s talents in both singing and playing abilities.
For more information on Carl Caldwell’s music or to find out where he’ll be performing next, you may visit his website at www.carlcaldwell.com.