Richardson says this about how the song came to be and what it’s all about …
“My dear friend Bill Tennyson had the idea for the chorus already and sang it for me. I loved it! We then spent a couple of days writing the song and deciding what the story should be about. Can’t go wrong with moonshine and someone dying in a bluegrass tune.
It’s about a young woman, Stoney Mae, who works the family moonshine business with her dad, Dub McClain. Dub had a bad reputation for treating Stoney and her mother horribly. Stoney catches the eye of a young man who basically visits the still to just see her. They fall in love but Dub isn’t having any part of that. Dub gets drunk and falls into a fire which leaves the young man to finally have Stoney Mae and the moonshine business as well.
It was a fun write and I am really happy with how the track turned out. It’s a funky, greasy track.”
Also, she is excited to have Ronnie Bowman singing Stoney Mae and Carmella Ramsey adding harmonies.
In addition to Richardson on fiddle, other personnel on the recording are Bill Tennyson – harmony vocal; Brandon Bostic – acoustic guitar and resonator guitar; Ashby Frank – mandolin; and Tim Dishman – bass.
The recording of Stoney Mae is on a forthcoming Pinecastle album Love Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard – “kinda my life’s motto,” says Richardson, “in that order.”
In addition to the other bluegrass material – recordings of such as East Virginia Blues and Kentucky Waltz – the CD has a variety of sounds; a country shuffle with twin fiddles – Wanda Jackson’s Tears Will Be A Chaser for my Wine, with Dale Ann Bradley singing lead; some Texas-style contest tunes, “which I grew up doing,” explains Richardson; a Scottish/Irish set featuring The Chieftains; “I spent a few years out with them and wanted a part of that on this project. The Irish feet are Cara Butler and Jon Pilatske.”; a rendition of Jack of Diamonds with just Richardson’s fiddle and vocal by her long-time hero and former employer, Patty Loveless, thus keeping the sparse old time, Appalachian sound that characterises its origins.
That’s not all ….
“I’ve written a couple of instrumentals, one featuring Mike Snider on claw-hammer banjo, that I wrote for my 22-month old granddaughter.
I have a brother, Clyde, who has been clogging on the Grand Ole Opry since he was a teenager. He and I did Lost Indian together, his feet and my fiddle.”
Of the eclectic mix, “I wanted it to showcase my career over the past 30 years,” Richardson explains.
She speaks highly of those who helped her with the recording of Love Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard ….
“I have been very blessed to have played with so many amazing singers, players and people. I wanted to get as many of those folks as I could on this album.
The musicians helping me out are Brandon Bostic, Ashby Frank, Austin Ward, Jeremy Abshire, Tim Dishman, Scott Vestal, Gena Britt, Steve Hinson,Mike Snider, Jon Pilatske, Tim Edey, and Casey Campbell.
The singers are Dale Ann Bradley, Patty Loveless, Amanda McKenney, Ronnie Bowman, Tina Adair, Jeff White, Carmella Ramsey, Bill Tennyson and Alyth McCormack.”
Richardson grew up just outside of Nashville in the small town of Kingston Springs, as part of a musical family. Both of her grandfathers and her father played music, so it was just natural for her to want to play along. At the age of nine, she picked up the fiddle, going on to make her debut appearance on the Grand Ole Opry at the tender age of 13.
Having studied for three years at the Blair School of Music, a big influence for Richardson is Craig Duncan. Other fiddle players that she admires are Tommy Jackson, Howdy Forrester, Kenny Baker, Mark O’ Connor, and Stuart Duncan.
She quickly developed a good reputation as a versatile fiddle player mastering anything from upbeat, fast-paced bluegrass tunes to lonesome, tear-jerking country melodies.
Richardson doesn’t limit herself to playing the fiddle, being adept on mandolin and acoustic guitar also.
Thriving on diversity, Richardson has shared the stage and/or recording studio with such artists as Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Bob Seger, Dale Ann Bradley, Emmy Lou Harris, Ry Cooder, David Olney, Hank Williams Jr, the Del McCoury Band, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt, and Holly Dunn to name a few.
She has toured with the Chieftains, Vince Gill, and Bob Seger, and, starting in 2016, with the new band, Sister Sadie.
Richardson has appeared on high-profile television shows such as Letterman, Leno, Conan and the Today Show; at prestigious venues including Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and London’s Royal Albert Hall. Tours have taken her overseas to Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Austria, Belgium, and Switzerland.
2018 appears to be a very significant year in Richardson’s career …
“I play in a band with Sister Sadie and have Tina Adiar, Gena Britt and Dale Ann Bradley from that group with me here. Also, I am in a band called The Likely Culprits with Melonie Cannon, Ronnie Bowman, Garnet Imes Bowman, Brandon Bostic, Ashby Frank, and Austin Ward. Both of these bands have new records coming out this year as well. It’s a very exciting and busy time.”