Lonesome Moon – Grass Strings

Established 45 years ago, Grass Strings, a central North Carolina-based bluegrass band, has released a new project entitled Lonesome Moon. Recorded at Greg Luck’s studio in Mt. Gilead, NC, the CD premieres on Luck’s new label, Riverside Music Co. The 11 song CD features two original tunes by band members and three by veteran bluegrasser, Ray Edwards, including the title cut.

Grass Strings consists of Jimmy Burris on mandolin, Randy Mauldin on banjo, Greg Abercrombie on guitar, Ronnie Elwood on bass, and Garrett Abercrombie on fiddle. The latter is currently serving in the US military and is stationed in the Middle East, having laid the fiddle tracks while on leave. The first four members contribute to the vocals, singing various parts on the different songs.

Songwriter, professional musician, and singer Edwards, weighed in on his contributions to the CD.

Lonesome Moon is one of the finest, more progressive bluegrass songs that Terry Foust (co-writer) and I have ever written. It’s got that bluegrass drive with some nice and different chord changes. Terry and I also wrote When The Love We Have Is Gone. I place it in the top 5 list of songs that Terry and I have written over the years. It’s very commercial and the chorus is infectious. The third song that Grass Strings recorded from [his publishing company] the Silver Stirrup Music catalog is Ol’ Train which was co-written by myself and country music artist, Matt Dylan. We wrote this song while we both lived in Mt. Airy, and were working together as Matt Dylan & The Honky Tonk Outlaws.”

Banjoist Mauldin provided background for the song he penned.

“The inspiration for Old Memories was watching a dear friend slowly die from heartache after his wife left him to continue her drug addiction. (It was) after his death that the last verse was written.”

There is also a number, What I Wouldn’t Give for One More Night, by GS’s guitarist, Greg Abercombie.

“This song is about the opiod crisis. My wife became addicted and we divorced because of her addictions. Garrett (my son) was the one that wanted us to record the song. Maybe the song will make sense when you listen to it,” the composer reflected.

The CD includes originals by other composers such as Hills of Caroline by Bob Wyatt, Carolina Darlin’ by Roger Black, and What I’d Give to be the Wind by Curley Putnam and Red Lane.

There are also some crowd favorites such as Carl Jackson’s Erase the Miles (with Luck providing rhythm guitar), and traditional tunes, Stars in My Crown and Darlin’ Corey.

 “This project was an absolute joy to be a part of,” stated bassist, Ronnie Elwood. We worked very hard on our harmony vocals and our instruments to make it meet everyone in the band’s approval. We have a good relationship with our new record label which made it easy to relax and just do our job. Thanks to all the guys in the Grass Strings for letting me be a part of it.

“Also, thanks to Greg Luck, for all his hard work to help us make it happen. God is good!” 

Guitarist, Abercrombie, agreed, “It was great working on our last project with Greg Luck, who just may be the best sound technician in the business.”

Engineer Luck shared… “I enjoyed recording those guys. They are good folks and genuinely love the music.”

“Proud of the guys! They all worked really hard and gave it their all. I could not have a better team to work with. Hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do,” founding member Burris concluded.

The CD is available on AirPlay Direct and at the band’s web site.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.