Mountain Fever Records is especially excited to announce details about an upcoming project, a new album featuring songs from the life of the great Mac Wiseman. I Sang The Song (Life Of The Voice With A Heart) doesn’t release until January of next year, though a debut single is scheduled for next Tuesday.
The 91-year-old bluegrass and country music veteran doesn’t get out much these days, so friends make a point to stop by and see him when they can. Nashville-area residents make regular visits, and folks from elsewhere drop in when they are in town. Known as much as a storyteller as a singer of traditional music, Mac is wont to regale his guests with tales of the old days, from his time touring with Flatt & Scruggs, recording with Bill Monroe, helping launch the Country Music Hall of Fame (where he has recently been inducted), or his many years as a solo artist on the folk, bluegrass, or country music circuit.
I Sang The Song comes from a series of these visits with songwriters Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz, who created new material out of stories Mac told to them over the course of a series of weekly visits at his home. They created ten new songs from chapters in Wiseman’s life and career, and recorded them with a group of top Nashville pickers and singers.
Cooper states in the liner notes…
“The stories would have been remarkable coming from anyone. But coming from Mac Wiseman, an acknowledged master of American roots music who earned the nickname ‘The Voice with a Heart,’ the stories began to sound like songs. Thomm Jutz and I sat in small chairs that faced the easy chair, situated beneath a photograph of Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren, Mac’s childhood place of worship. We wrote down the stories, and found them rich with melody and rhyme.”
They then assembled a crack band for the studio, with Sierra Hull on mandolin, Mark Fain on bass, Justin Moses on fiddle, dobro, and banjo, and Jutz and others on guitar. To sing these new story songs, co-producers Jutz and Cooper started asking other artists who were friends with Mac, and were delighted when they received positive responses from such stellar performers as John Prine, Alison Krauss, Junior Sisk, Ronnie Bowman, Shawn Camp, The Isaacs, and several others.
A real highlight is the record’s closing track, a duet between Mac and Alison on ’Tis Sweet to be Remembered.
Camp’s contribution on lead vocal is the first single, Going Back To Bristol, featured in this photo video from Mountain Fever.
Look for the single at popular download sites on Tuesday (November 8). I Sang The Song is due on January 20, 2017 from Mountain Fever.