Jon Randall is no stranger to bluegrass. Having played with such bluegrass legends as Sam Bush and Earl Scruggs, he has well established credentials. He has been a fixture at Merlefest for a number of years entertaining crowds with his guitar handiwork, soaring vocals, and of course, his songwriting. For those of you who don’t know, Jon co-wrote the song Whiskey Lullaby (performed by Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley) with Bill Anderson. Jon is now releasing a new CD of his own which includes that hit as well as a slew of other great songs he has written.
Walking Among The Living is not really a bluegrass album, though it does feature Sam Bush, John Cowan, and Bela Fleck all together with Jon on one tune. Jon was heavily influenced by the NewGrass Revival when he was a youngster and learning to play, so he was determined to be a part of the magic by having some of the band members play on his CD.
I got into those guys in junior high school and was still their biggest fan when they broke up.
I wanted to include a bluegrass showcase on the album. Producer George Massenburg and I were just going to find a good Flatt & Scruggs song, or a Stanley Brothers tune. But there are so many to choose from. Where do I tip my hat in this area?
The jam session was recorded live and the track includes the banter and laughter that preceded the song. In addition Alison Krauss adds harmony vocals on the tune No Southern Comfort.
Jon had this to say about writing songs and growing up around bluegrass.
My earliest musical memories are of listening to Dad write bluegrass songs. When he started teaching me guitar, I started writing songs. I can’t tell you how many songs I wrote for my bands in junior high and high school. I wrote a song for every girlfriend I ever had. Seriously, from the moment I picked up the guitar, I was writing my own songs.
Yesterday, September 12th, Jon recorded a special performance for SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s “Sessions From Oceanway Studios” (air date TBD). Following the release of Walking Among the Living on September 20th, Randall will hit the road opening for Vince Gill. Check his tour schedule for a show near you.
The CD comes out on September 20th. Until then you can here some samples on Jon’s website