How’s Mama video from Lucas Pasley, featuring Danny Paisley

Let’s finish up the week with a couple of songs for Mother’s Day, celebrated this Sunday in much of the world. It’s a lovely time to celebrate those who brought every one of us into the world, whether we still have them here with us or cherish them in memory.

First up is Lucas Pasley, an old time musician in North Carolina who has written a wonderful traditional bluegrass song called How’s Mama, from lyrics contributed by his grandmother, Ellen Brooks.

It’s a lovely, old fashioned waltz that talks about family culture, in response to the fact that so many Appalachian families suffered separation from loved ones when they moved north and east to find work following the Great Depression and WWII. Pasley’s own family endured this out migration, though he has returned to Sparta, NC, and Ellen’s poem references how all the rare calls home would include the titular question.

But, as Lucas puts it, the song is about much more.

How’s Mama isn’t just a song about mothers: it’s about connections; it’s about bonds that aren’t touched by miles; it’s about how the mountains stay with people even when opportunities pull them away.

I am so excited and proud to have recorded with two of my favorite bluegrass musicians, Danny Paisley and Alex Leach, and we are backed up by two of my great friends, Chris Johnson and Todd Hiatt. I am also proud to work with Kevin Combs of Friesland Productions on the video – he understands about loving the mountains, leaving and coming home. The song was recorded by Wesley Easter at Eastwood Studios; his guidance on my music has been immeasurable.

I am happy to release this song in honor of Mother’s Day. May it be a sweet day for everyone.”

The music video is filled with heartwarming scenes of paying a visit to elderly moms, both at home and in nursing facilities. They include clips of both Lucas and Danny with their moms, ending with a discussion between three generations of Paisleys.

If you are without your mom this weekend, keep a tissue handy.

How’s Mama is offered for digital download directly from Lucas on bandcamp.

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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.