March will be a big month for Rounder Records. They have new projects coming from Charlie Sizemore, Steve Martin, Sierra Hull… and Larry Sparks.
Sparks, our current godfather of traditional bluegrass, is at the height of his career, enjoying later in life the same sort of celebrity that has come to Del McCoury. Like Del, Larry paid his dues along the way working all manner of small shows and festivals after breaking out as a solo artist in 1972. This move came after a successful apprenticeship with The Stanley Brothers, and his unenviable role stepping up as Ralph Stanley’s lead singer after Carter Stanley’s death in 1966.
March 15 has been announced as the release date for Almost Home, which includes 15 new tracks Sparks recorded primarily with his road band, the Lonesome Ramblers. Tyler Mullins is on banjo, Carl Berggren on mandolin and Larry D. Sparks on bass with Larry on guitar and lead vocals. Don Rigsby and Jeff Brown share tenor vocals, with Ron Stewart guesting on fiddle.
The songs are drawn from a number of top writers. Shawn Lane contributes a new one, as does Sparks, and there are several from Nashville songwriters Dave Lindsey and Michael Keith.
Larry sums up the sound on Almost Home as well as I’ve heard his music described.
“My music’s always been lonesome. It’s a good lonesome. It’s a real lonesome sound. It’s true.”
Can’t wait for this one.