Down the Hill from Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road

Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road are releasing a new single today, the second from their latest project, Roots.

Well… let’s be a bit more specific. Roots is the name of the new band project, but it wasn’t exactly recorded with the touring edition of the group. Given the pandemic shutdowns last year, Liam went ahead and tracked the album by himself, playing and singing all the parts all by his lonesome.

Today’s single is titled Down The Hill, one which Purcell wrote with Si Kahn of folk music fame.

“Down the Hill was a co-write with my dear friend and mentor Si Kahn. We had a good co-writing session in Charlotte, NC last year, and this was one of the songs that came out of it. I’ve never been able to just sit down and start writing songs or come up with ideas, I usually rely on inspiration. But Si really broke that barrier and we started by sitting and talking about the place I grew up, and some of the characters we both knew who would make a good song! After we wrote the lyrics, I went in search of a melody and progression for this song. I drew on some of my favorite hard-driving bluegrass songs to really tie this one together – but threw in some unusual chords in the chorus to give it a new flavor!”

The song plays on the theme of the mansion on the hill, inhabited by rich folks, while those living lower down tend to be of more straitened means.

Kahn sees great things ahead for young Mr. Purcell, who has just released his fourth album while still in college. 

“I love writing songs with Liam Purcell, which we’ve been doing since I was 76 and he was 17. It’s not just Liam’s instrumental brilliance, his thoughtfulness and way with words, but his roots.

Roots is in fact the name of this fourth album from Liam Purcell and Cane Mill Road. Liam grew up in Deep Gap, North Carolina, home of bluegrass music legends Doc, Rosa Lee, and Merle Watson.  

Liam grew up surrounded by that mist and memory. It’s in his blood, it’s in his bones — and it sure as hell is in his music. Merle, Rosa Lee, and Doc would be more than proud.”

Have a listen…

Down The Hill and the full album, Roots, are available wherever you stream or download music online. The CD can be purchased directly from the Cane Mill Road web site.

Radio programmers can get the single now from AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.