Another of the many CDs that have crossed the threshold this month comes from Ohioan Missy Werner. I wasn’t familiar with her music prior to receiving this copy of Drifting and Dreaming, but when I saw that Dwight McCall had produced and Jon Weisberger had written liner notes, I was sure that this was a serious project.
This CD captivated me from the very first notes. Werner’s voice is clear and attractive and the musicianship is stellar. Tim Stafford plays guitar, Ron Stewart banjo and fiddle, Alan Bibey mandolin, and Harold Nixon bass. Randy Kohrs adds his resonator guitar on several tracks and Rickey Wasson plays guitar on one.
It seems clear that Missy was heavily influenced by Lynn Morris, and there is much of Lynn’s sincerity and passion in Werner’s voice. McCall provides the harmony vocals with the same high standard of excellence he has demonstrated for years with JD Crowe & The New South and his solo projects.
The songs she has chosen are perfectly suited to her voice. Two of Dolly Parton’s are featured (Gypsy, Joe and Me, Early Morning Breeze) along with one of my favorite old bluegrass songs, Plant Some Flowers, which Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley had both memorably recorded. Other standouts are The Rope (Stephanie Davis), Sarah Siskind’s Bridge, Jennifer Strickland’s Goodbye, and Morning Train from Harley Allen.
The music is arranged in a light, contemporary bluegrass style and performed with crispness and precision by these crack pickers. This is a first rate album.