James King – Gardens in the Sky

James King - Gardens In The SkyRounder Records has posted information on its website about the forthcoming release of a new CD by James King. Titled Gardens in the Sky: The Bluegrass Gospel of James King (Rounder 0595), the album is scheduled for release on May 20.

This is what the Rounder website says about King and the anthology:

James King is considered among the leading voices in traditional bluegrass, summoning timeless echoes of Appalachia with a voice that is equal parts urgent, yearning, and tender. For that reason, this project – his first entirely gospel collection – has been eagerly awaited by his public, whose frequent requests for such an album inspired its release. King’s interpretations of bluegrass gospel classics both vintage and modern are so uniquely suited to the powerful longing and commitment that underpins every note he sings.

‘Gardens in the Sky’ combines favorites from the James King catalog with performances featured on albums by Paul Williams and Longview, King’s contributions to ‘The Stanley Gospel Tradition’ CD, and six previously unreleased recordings.

I can add some more information about the album content …….

The CD begins with two songs from The Stanley Tradition – Songs About Our Savior that was originally on Doobie Shea DS-300, a various artists tribute CD re1eased in 1998.

From the Longview catalogue are The Touch Of God’s Hand, Angels are Singing (In Heaven Tonight) and Voice of My Savior, while on what is essentially a Paul Williams recording, King sings lead vocal on the chorus to I Just Steal Away and Pray (Albert E. Brumley).

The majority of the cuts are from King’s existing catalog released on these four CDs; These Old Pictures, The Bluegrass Storyteller, Bed By The Window and Lonesome And Then Some.

The six new tracks are Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore, an original composition by Chris Stapleton of The SteelDrivers, It’s Hot Down Here (an a cappella quartet), Don’t Worry Mama (written by King himself), The Prettiest Flowers Will Be Blooming, Will You Feel at Home (Vern Williams-Ray Park) and Happy I’ll Be. The last named, also written by Park and Williams, is an out-take from the sessions for Bed by the Window. The others are new recordings featuring, in various combinations, Adam Haynes – fiddle; Kevin Prater – rhythm guitar, high baritone vocal; John Wade bass; Adam Poindexter – lead guitar, tenor vocal; and Chris Hill – banjo, tenor and bass vocal.

There’s a host of other exceptional pickers and singers on this 18-song collection, too many to list here.

There aren’t any audio samples available yet on the Rounder website, but we will let you know as soon as they become available.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.