The newest release in the Crooked Road series from the Virginia Folklife program is just out. It is by Linda Lay, Sammy Shelor & Crooked Run, and entitled Taking The Crooked Road Home.
Linda Lay grew up in Bristol, VA singing and playing with her family’s string band since she was a small child. She later formed her own band, Appalachian Trail, which was a fixture at festivals in the Blue Ridge area for twenty years, and performs now with her husband David, and David McLaughlin as Springfield Exit.
Most of our readers know Sammy Shelor as the powerhouse banjo picker with Lonesome River Band, which has been his home for the past 17 years. He and Linda did a show at a folk festival a few years ago, and plans to record together were hatched not long after.
They are assisted on this CD by David McLaughlin and Jeff Parker on mandolin, David Lay on guitar, and Ron Stewart on fiddle. Though the sound is solid traditional bluegrass, most of the songs are new, with contributions from Tom T. and Dixie Hall, Mike Evans and Harley Allen.
Sammy said that recording this project was a blast for him.
“I love the way bluegrass music is played in southwest VA and east TN, and this project perfectly captures the drive, the power and the soul of that sound. Linda is the strongest vocalist I have ever worked with, and I think those who have never heard her sing are in for a surprise.”
Audio samples for all 12 tracks can be found online.
Like the last few Lonesome River Band releases, Taking The Crooked Road Home is available for purchase on the band’s site as an audio CD, or for immediate digital download as MP3 files.
Radio service is being handled by Sammy Shelor, so show hosts who would like a copy for airplay should contact Sammy via the LRB web site.