Stories and Traditions – Sons Of The South

Stories and Traditions is the new CD from North Carolina-based Sons of the South. The band has a long history of over 50 years. Though members have changed during the past five decades, the traditional bluegrass songs, tight harmony, and professional instrumental work continue to be a mainstay for the group. Current band members include: Michael Souther (banjo/vocals), Gary Isenhour (guitar/vocals), Connor Lambert (mandolin/vocals), Rick Lowe (fiddle/vocals), and Franklin Rash (bass).

The CD, recorded at Eastwood Studios in Cana, VA, is comprised of 11 songs, eight of which are original compositions. Mandolinist, Connor Lambert, penned six of the tunes. His songs offer a variety of expression, from a Gospel number, The Maker’s Mark, to a lighthearted comedy cure for an insomniac, Melatonin Gummies. The last cut, Old Blue River, was written by his dad, the late Garland Lambert, who was well-known throughout the Carolina bluegrass circuit.

On the inside of the CD jacket, Ronnie McCoury states, “It’s refreshing to hear a CD comprised of mostly original songs with some great harmony singing and traditional bluegrass pickin’.”

One of Lambert’s numbers, Jackets of Grey, is a biographical piece about two brothers, Thomas and Josiah Taylor, who died during the Civil War – not from the Battle of Bull Run (which they survived), but from typhoid fever. The idea for his composition was sparked during a visit to a cemetery in Virginia where he discovered the soldiers’ adjacent graves.

Lambert, who also serves as pastor for Troutman Church of God, shared his inspiration for the tune. “When I saw the boys’ graves alongside their mother and read the story, I knew it was a story of many families of that era, and I wanted to tell that story to our generation.”

Another original on the CD is Love’s Great Pain written by banjoist, Michael Souther. Michael’s dad, the late Luther Souther, was a founding member of the Sons of the South in the 1950s.

Tim Frye of WPAQ in Mt Airy, NC, shared his thoughts on the band’s latest release. “If you’re looking to purchase a great new CD for your collection, or looking for a band for your next festival, I highly recommend the Sons of the South. You won’t be disappointed.”

Earlier this year, the Sons of the South performed during Doyle Lawson’s Mother’s Day Weekend festival and appeared live on Stevie Barr’s Crooked Road Radio Show on WBRF 98.1. Their upcoming show dates include August 31 at the 50th Anniversary of the Camp Springs Bluegrass Festival and November 30 at the SC State Bluegrass Festival in Myrtle Beach.

Stories and Traditions is available on CD Baby, Amazon, and AirPlay Direct (for radio stations).

Share this:

About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.