Jeff Brown is no stranger to bluegrass audiences through his work as bassist and tenor singer for Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers as well as with his own group, Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome, which uniquely fuses the sounds of traditional bluegrass alongside country and other forms of music. Still Lonesome’s latest release, Old Kentucky Moon, is a collection of original material performed in Brown’s distinct style.
The opening track Language Of The Heart sets the tone for the entire project. Written by Jon Weisberger, this piece conveys how love can be non-verbally communicated. The smooth vocal delivery is commonplace on most of the material found on this recording.
While This Old Train by Jerry Williamson is again delivered in a smooth fashion, there’s no mistaking that this song falls into the traditional bluegrass camp. This track also does a fine job spotlighting the vocal harmonies of Brown, mandolinist Nick Goad, and bassist Austin Brown.
Sharon Rae is a piece from the country repertoire. Written and recorded by Johnny Paycheck in 1981, Jeff’s rendition of the song is performed in his own traditional bluesy style.
DeTune is an instrumental penned by banjoist Rod Smith. A well crafted tune, this track also demonstrates Austin Brown’s lead guitar abilities as well as Nick Goad’s skillful mandolin playing. As with all of the tracks on this project, this one features Adam Haynes from the Grascals guesting on fiddle, rounding out the group’s sound nicely.
He Performed Miracles is a gospel song co-written by Jeff and his former bandmate, Wayne Taylor. Along with having a great message, this track is another wonderful example of the group’s vocal abilities.
Jacob and Carrie by Jeannie Bryant is a deeply moving song about two people who love each other, but don’t confess their true feelings. It’s one of those songs that encompasses several emotions. If it had to be summed up in one word, it’s bittersweet.
Bottle Of Wine is completely different from all of the other tracks in a stylistic sense, but it still fits in really well. Featuring Rod Smith on pedal steel guitar and Noah Brown on percussion, this country-tinged song by Gary Ferguson and Jeff Brown is another song dealing with emotions that surround the end of a romance.
Old Kentucky Moon is another solid effort from Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome. Whether you like the sounds of traditional bluegrass, country, or even a smooth folk sound, this is one of the albums that has multiple levels of appeal. Alongside great variety, this recording is chock full of originality. It’s a well-rounded project that checks all the boxes.