And how he hears it is in the old time way. Like with the music Jeremy records wife his wife, Corrina, in High Fidelity, Stephens is dedicated to early bluegrass and pre-bluegrass traditional country music as a solo artist. He shows no plan to revise or update the sound created by the pioneers, but instead to recreate it just as it might have been heard in the 1940s and ’50s. Even with newer material, the approach is the same, and if it doesn’t bring a smile to your face, we’ll be gobsmacked.
When we highlighted this single back in June, we shared some information on how Jeremy served an apprenticeship of sorts with Virginia bluegrass singer and songwriter, Cecil Hall, when Stephens was much younger. In fact, he had set as a goal for himself to preserve Cecil’s music going forward, and he has done so with Could I Knock On Your Door, which Hall recorded with his Dominion Bluegrass Boys in 2004. Jeremy even retains Cecil’s semi-archaic use of the word “once’t” in the chorus, a term one still hears in the Appalachian region, though perhaps less so year after year. Simply charming.
Jeremy plays guitar, banjo, and mandolin here, and sings the lead vocal, with all the instruments carrying his vintage trademark. The guitar is based on the playing of Benny Martin, and the banjo on Don Reno, with Mike Bub adding his bass and Hunter Berry adding the Big Tige fiddle touch. Corrina provides the duet harmony.
Here’s the video.