I’ve long understood that a military career shows you how to get things done, but former Navy bandsman Wayne Taylor may be working on a new bluegrass record. Over the past 6-8 weeks, he has conceived an album project, written a title track, recorded, mixed and mastered the album, and will have it available for sale this weekend.
Actually, it was the song that came first. Wayne said that he wrote Praise His Holy Name in October, which inspired him to get to work on a new Christmas record.
“I was talking with Kyle Cantrell during our last track by track, and he mentioned that bluegrass needs more Christmas music. That was in the back of my mind, and one night the song just kind of happened.
Songs are gifts. This one was handed to me and I felt compelled to get it out quickly. The message is needed with the way the world is today; we need more peace and love. That’s the song’s message.”
The first tracking began on November 1, mixing was done on the 25th and mastering on the 27. Wayne wanted to especially credit National Media Services of Front Royal, VA and their CEO Mike McCool, for helping them get everything buttoned up and delivered before December 1.
Taylor enlisted a few of his former Country Current bandmates, a couple of his favorite bluegrass singers, and put a strong band around them all for this special collection. He ended up with Keith Arneson on banjo, Emery Lester on mandolin, Pat White on fiddle, Chris Sexton on viola, and Kene Hyatt on bass. Wayne played guitar and sang lead, with Don Rigsby and Missy Armstrong singing harmonies.
He said choosing these folks was a simple task.
“I played many, many Christmas gigs in the Navy with Keith and Pat, so I was able to pull from our past arrangements and put the songs down quickly. Emory and Kene are such professionals, and they were able to jump right in as well.
Phoenix Studio engineer George Hodgkiss told me what a great viola player Chris Sexton was, so we called him. I sent Chris an MP3 of Keith Arneson and I playing Praise His Holy Name and Away in A Manger, and he wrote out parts and knocked them out in no time. He also did Silent Night off the cuff.
I selected the vocalists because I knew Don would sound great on Santa Looked A Log Like Daddy, and Go Tell It On The Mountain. Missy is probably my favorite singer, and she sounds great whatever she sings.”
- Go Tell It On The Mountain
- Praise His Holy Name
- Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy
- White Christmas
- Dueling Jingle Bells
- Away In A Manger
- Winter Wonderland
- Silent Night
All 8 songs can be heard now at Airplay Direct, where radio programmers can download the tracks for airplay. Look for CDs at CD Baby and on Wayne’s web site by this weekend.