As music consumers have moved away from album purchases to individual tracks, bluegrass labels have begun concentrating their efforts in the same direction. Even with most still releasing full albums, the record companies have been devoting more attention to promoting individual tracks, offering them for sale often months before a new CD is available.
This was the standard procedure back in the hey day of recorded music, in the 1960s and ’70s, when fans could be counted on to buy the 45 rpm singles, the the full size LPs as each hit the market. What goes around, comes around it seems.
Billy Droze has a new single from his upcoming, self-produced project, but he’s done it the old time way, with two new tracks making up the release. Back in the day, a 45 rpm record had two sides, each with a single song. The labels would generally pitch one to radio as the “A” side, the focus track they were hoping DJs would play, and a second, or “B” side that in some cases didn’t even appear on the next LP.
Of course, Billy’s new single is all-digital, but he has released two new songs at once, each showing a different side of his contemporary bluegrass sound. The first focus track – digital “A” side? – is one called Coal Fed Train which he wrote with Ronnie Bowman and Will Hiatt. It’s a bluesy number which you can hear in this lyric video, set against black & white images of railroad scenes, and Billy on stage.
The second song is a more reflective piece, taken at a much slower tempo, Till I Get Home. It’s a message of love across the bounds of death, with the singer consoling himself with a certainty of seeing his departed on the other side. It’s a beautiful ballad, with harmony vocals provided by The Isaacs.
If you’ve ever lost a loved one and miss them desperately, this one will give birth to a tear. Billy wrote it with Ronnie Bowman.
Here’s a sample…
Droze has hit the bluegrass world like that coal fed train the past few years, first as a songwriter for hits from The Grascals, Junior Sisk, and Flatt Lonesome, and now as a singer as well. His debut bluegrass record, To Whom It May Concern, generated a couple of #1 songs on our Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay chart, and unless I miss my guess, these two from his upcoming Renaissance CD may do the same.
If you can’t choose which one you like best, both Coal Fed Train and Till I Get Home are available to stream and download from all the popular sites, and to radio programmers at AirPlay Direct.
Look for the full Renaissance album early in 2019.