Mountain Fever Records has released a third single from their upcoming album with Linda Lay. Something of a bluegrass vocal legend in Virginia, especially northern Virginia where she lives, Linda is less well known around the wider bluegrass community. That’s something that will change with this new project which showcases her powerful singing.
Earlier in her life, Lay ran the popular touring group, Appalachian Trail, who took their bluegrass sound all over the southeastern US. These days she performs primarily with Springfield Exit, alongside her husband, David Lay, on guitar, and former Johnson Mountain Boys mandolinist David McLaughlin.
For this second single, Linda has chosen an eerie song based on a true, but little known, aspect of the American Civil War. Titled The Jingling Hole, written by Mark Brinkman and Mike Evans, it tells of a vertical cave opening near Bristol, TN in a region that had earned the nickname “The Bloody Third” due to the extreme amount of fighting and bloodshed which took place there. Not only were there battles between the Union and Confederate armies, there were clashes between the Confederates and Union sympathizers loyal to the US.
Locals took to referring to the cave opening this way, a bottomless pit across which someone had affixed an iron bar, where prisoners were tortured by being forced to hang on for dear life while being tormented by one side or the other. While suspended over the opening, a soldier’s spurs would typically jangle against one another, hence the name Jingling Hole.
Linda is supported here by her bass, plus Aaron Ramsey on guitar, mandolin, and Weissborn guitar.