The Grim Reaper from Caleb Bailey

Last week we shared news from bluegrass singer and songwriter, Caleb Bailey, as he welcomed the birth of a son, Colt Steele Bailey. We also mentioned at the time that Caleb’s debut single was set to release the next day, and so it has.

Bailey has been active in bluegrass around his native northwestern Virginia for some times. For several years he was the guitarist and lead singer with Allegheny Blue, who released a pair of self-produced albums, Greenbrier River and Train Smoke, over the past decade.

Now he is going solo, with a new album, Poplar & Pine, due to hit this spring. Utilizing the rich pool of bluegrass talent around Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley region, Caleb brought in reso-meister Gaven Largent to produce and to play both banjo and dobro. Also assisting were Caleb Cox on guitar, Austin Brown on bass, Jonathan Dillon on mandolin, Jason Barie on fiddle, and Wayne Taylor on guest vocal.

The first single is available now, one Bailey wrote called Grim Reaper, which tells of the inevitability of death, and how it is lurking for us all. With a bit of an eerie sound, the track takes a medium tempo ride through a consideration of our final journey.

Caleb describes the song’s instrumental signature.

“The musical hook, much like the scythe of the Grim Reaper, pulls you into the song, but it’s the lyrics that tell the story of the fate that will one day befall us all.

That hook was a late in-studio addition, a collaboration between Cox and Largent. We likened it to The Johnson Mountain Boys’ rendition of Duncan and Brady. Something to snag the ear.”

See what you think…

Grim Reaper is available now wherever you stream or download music online. Radio programmers can find the track at AirPlay Direct.

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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.