Cardwell has returned to bluegrass in recent years, after a strong start with New Tradition back in the 1990s. His dramatic vocal range and powerful singing style has evoked comparisons with John Cowan from the start, and after several decades working outside the music business, he reappeared in 2016 with a renewed vigor and new ideas.
This latest single, Rising Sun, is one he wrote with Louisa Branscomb, which Ray described as a delightful experience.
“This is the first song I’ve ever written with Louisa. I knew her, of course, from her awards and reputation as a skilled songwriter. I really love getting a chance to write with another songwriter. It’s good for new ideas, and when people hear a song I wrote and add to it, making it into something else, that’s when I get excited! That’s the creative collaboration I live for. Louisa’s lyrics were spot on and conversation-like. We just musically talked out all our fears, frustrations and hope.”
It’s meant as a cheerful reminder that no matter how dark things may seem, the sun will inevitably come up again the next day, a message that Louisa said was inspired by recent concerns about viral spread and loss of income for so many people in the world.
“I guess I’d just say that the situation has either invited or demanded that we grow and change very suddenly and take new risks and live creatively. And that I am a private writer, I don’t co-write much, but I was so glad I took the risk and messaged Ray about something I said on Facebook that I thought would make a cool song, and we just jumped in and did it! And got to know each other in the process and it’s one of those unexpected small blessings in the middle of all this.”
Bonfire prepared this lyric video to share the song far and wide.
Rising Sun is available now whoever you stream or download music online.
Look for Just A Little Rain on September 25.