Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers have released one of the finest bluegrass Gospel records of the past few years. No surprise there, as Mullins has a long history of producing such, and is himself one of the finest tenor singers in the business.
He has also assembled a first-rate band, and brought in such stellar guests on Hymns From The Hills as Doyle Lawson, Paul Williams, Larry Sparks and Rhonda Vincent.
Mullins plays banjo along with Mike Terry on mandolin, Adam McIntosh on guitar, Evan McGregor on fiddle and Tim Kidd on bass. Joe, Mike and Adam handle the vocals.
It’s always a treat to hear a new track with Doyle or Sparks, but to my ear, the most satisfying songs on the album are the ones from Joe and the Ramblers on their own. Two in particular stand out.
Fair Weather is a new song written by Mike Ramsey of Brand New Strings which is partly taken directly from the text of Job Chapter 37.
Another favorite is this quartet arrangement of O The Love Of My Redeemer, with Dale Perry singing bass.
Joe and the boys also turn in fine performances on the Grandapa Jones classic, Fallen Leaves, and a super new Tim Stafford/Jon Weisberger song, Be Jesus To Someone Today.
But what about Sparks? He joins the Ramblers for a couple of tracks, including this prototypical example of why we love Larry so.
Hymns From The Hills is a fabulous album, worth the immediate attention of anyone who loves tight, heartfelt Gospel singing. Mighty good stuff.