Last Road Going Home from Amanda Cook Band

No matter what sort of music you might prefer, nothing beats the pairing of a great song and a top notch singer.

It’s certainly true in the wold of bluegrass, and we have a fine example here in Amanda Cook’s resurrection of Harley Allen’s Last Road Going Home, her latest single from Mountain Fever Records.

Harley lived something of a tragic life, dying at only 55 years of age from lung cancer, but during his musical career he lived life to its full. Starting out with his father, bluegrass pioneer Red Allen, and his brothers, Harley won acclaim right away for his singing and songwriting, and his stage appearance. A handsome young man, he recorded several bluegrass albums with his brothers, and three solo projects, before focusing on songwriting.

He went on to become a successful and highly respected Nashville songwriter, penning hits for both bluegrass and country artists. His songs have been recorded by Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, Lonesome River Band, and Alison Krauss, as well as Alan Jackson, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, George Jones, and many others, including one of the most emotionally-affecting songs of faith ever recorded, The Little Girl, cut by John Michael Montgomery in 2000.

Amanda brings her many years as a bluegrass vocalist and bandleader to the fore on Allen’s Last Road Going Home, previously released by Lou Reid & Carolina in 1996. The despondency of the story is perfectly conveyed in her voice as she sings Harley’s words.

As Cook puts it…

“I’ve always believed that a great cover version of a song should pay respect to the original while, at the same time, adding something new and unique. The band and I made that our goal when recording Lou Reid and Carolina’s version of Last Road Going Home. This song tells the story of life on the road and how it impacts loved ones, sometimes to the detriment of the relationship. I love that it has an open-ended nature which adds an element of mystery, and leaves interpretation up to the listener. We hope our fans like our spin on such a great song.”

It’s a lovely version of this song, with a driving bluegrass rhythm, which has one of the most poignant opening lines for a chorus. Listen for it.

Amanda is supported by her touring band, which includes Carolyne Van Lierop on banjo and harmony vocal, Troy Boone on mandolin, Brady Wallen on guitar and harmony vocal, Joshua Faul on bass, and George Mason on fiddle.

Check it out…

Last Road Going Home from the Amanda Cook Band is available now from popular download and streaming services online, and to radio programmers via AirPlay Direct.

It will also be included on Cook’s next album, Restless Soul, expected later this year.

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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.