If you don’t recognize the name Ray Edwards, you probably will his music. His song Hard Rock Mountain Prison (‘Til I Die) was a hit for IIIrd Tyme Out, as was Over In The Promised Land for Lou Reid & Carolina. Ray also composed Lou’s current single, Carolina Moonshine Man.
Edwards is also an award-winning banjo picker, and he is set to release an album later this year on Rural Rhythm Records. Titled Portrait Of A Bluegrass Songwriter, it will consist of songs he has written or co-written, performed with his band Hard Rock Mountain, with guest vocalists drawn from the cream of the bluegrass crop.
A debut single was released this week, showcasing Ray’s special admiration for the great Jimmy Martin. The song is told in the first person, and captures both the musical and personal spirit of the man that has profoundly influenced on the way bluegrass is performed to this day. Lead vocals are split among Marty Raybon, Darrell Webb, Russell Moore and Lou Reid, and Edwards’ banjo echoes the sound of a young J.D. Crowe with Martin in the 1950s.
My Name Is Jimmy Martin: [http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegrasscast/my_name.mp3]
Also featured on the track are Christy Reid and Ray Edwards on vocal harmony, Bobby Wood on mandolin, Mike Wood on guitar, and Doug Campbell on bass. Michael Cleveland does a brilliant job recreating the ’50s fiddle style as well, and Jimmy Martin Jr. reprises his role on snare drum.
The track is available now to radio programmers at Airplay Direct.