Valerie Smith and Becky Buller have been playing together for some time now, but they’ve recently teamed up to release a duet CD titled Here’s a Little Song.
The CD will be released September 9, 2008 on Bell Buckle Records. Taking a page from the great brother duets of the past, Smith and Buller have created a “sister duet” sound on this new CD.
We certainly aren’t out to send the Bluegrass world spinning sideways. We just both happen to be big fans of classic duet acts such as the Louvin and Everly Brothers. Our goal was to channel their sound into these new songs with stark arrangements that make the melodies, harmonies and stories the focal points of our presentation.
The sound samples presented on Valerie’s website do showcase the sparse arrangements, which direct your attention to the lyrics. Even so, it’s not as if the two are unaccompanied on the recording. A full band is tastefully present, including a mouth harp on one track.
The accompaniment is provided by an all star cast, including Alan O’Bryant, Mike Compton, Dale Ann Bradley, Wayne Benson, Kristin Scott Benson, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, Justin Carbone, and Liberty Pike band mates Chad Graves and Bobby Davis.
A highly esteemed songwriter and fiddle player, Buller took on a new role for Here’s a Little Song, that of producer. Her first effort was not an easy one, considering the health issues that Smith had to deal with during the process.
“In April of ’06 just after we finished up recording Val’s Bluegrass Gospel album, Wash Away Your Troubles, she had to undergo vocal surgery,” said Becky. “Later that year she was healed up and singing great so we made all our plans to begin the duet record,” she adds.
“Then in February of ’07, we found out she had to have a second vocal surgery,” she continued. “Our sessions were scheduled for April at Paul Hopkins’ Studio near Shelbyville, Tennessee and Valerie wanted us to go ahead. So, in crazy faith, we did just that, getting most of our music recorded without any idea if Val would ever be able to talk again, let alone sing.”
“But this January, less than a year after that second surgery, we were back in the studio recording our vocals,” said Val. “It was truly a miracle and I can’t begin to thank all the promoters and fans who hung in there with me during the grueling recovery process.”