Ron Block CD/DVD in the works

Ron Block

We caught up with Ron Block this week, and he tells us that he has started work on a new solo recording – as he has breaks in the Alison Krauss & Union Station tour schedule this summer.

He says that the theme of this album will be an artistic collaboration with a new co-writer.

“The CD is made up mostly of secular songs co-written with Rebecca Reynolds, a poet, writer, and lyricist from Kentucky living in East Tennessee. She is exceptionally gifted with creating pictures with words in the listener’s mind.

We’ve written more than twenty-five songs since August, and have culled those down to those which fit a more bluegrass/acoustic music recording. We’ve also written a Gospel song for the record, and I’ll also include one of mine.

Two instrumentals are already recorded; one is an instrumental version of a haunting old hymn, and the other a tune I took from a Tommy Jarrell recording. That one has Barry Bales, Sierra Hull, and Stuart Duncan. Barry came in a few days ago and recorded on four other songs. Sierra came by and added mandolin to another track. Jeff Taylor will be filling out some of the tunes with his accordion, and Buddy Greene (harmonica) will play on a couple; I’ve got a fun finger picky, bluesy song for him that I recorded on my Scheerhorn resonator round neck.

I have several other great musicians in mind but have not scheduled them yet. The essential instrumentation will be bass, guitars, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, and Jeff Taylor’s accordion on some of it. I’ll add other instruments here and there, but I’ll keep it along more rootsy lines.”

Sounds like a winner.

Rebecca also shared a few words about writing with Ron.

“Working on this record has been an opportunity to return to images and sounds from my roots in rural Kentucky and merge those with thoughts grown from the literature I love. In this record there are shadows of C.S Lewis, John Donne, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, and Wendell Berry. There is the soulful bluegrass and roots influence of early Kentucky music festivals. There are memories of hymn singings in my grandparents’ tiny country church. There’s a whippoorwill calling on a sleepy, Kentucky summer’s night. I don’t know when I’ve ever had so much fun.

Creating with Ron has been phenomenal. He comprehends lyrical imagery with such clarity, and he is able to recreate pictures perfectly into melody and tone. Bluegrass is his forte, but he is adept in every genre we have tried. This means we’ve been able to experiment freely with gospel, folk, blues, hymns, and acoustic pieces. It is a strange and beautiful thing to stumble upon someone who has the ability to take every idea you toss into the air and turn it to beauty. God has given me a great gift in allowing me to be a part of this team.”

Ron will also have a guitar instructional DVD from AcuTab in July. We’ll have more details on that soon.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.