Yesterday we caught up with Ron Block, and gathered some further details about his upcoming solo project, Walking Song, due for a summer 2013 release on Rounder.
As we reported earlier, the album consists primarily of new songs he has written with Rebecca Reynolds. Ron speaks quite highly of her artistry, and said that he has learned a great deal about the creative process working with her as his lyricist.
“Every time I run into a block, she has a solution, one that makes you think, ‘Of course… why didn’t I see that?’ “
The record has been a year or more in the making, tracked completely in Ron’s home studio, between his commitments with Alison Krauss & Union Station and a tour over the winter with Kate Rusby in the UK. This time Block is sticking to acoustic and bluegrass music or, as he put it, “keeping my palette small.” All the tracks were recorded using the traditional bluegrass instruments, with some accordion and Irish drum.
In addition to 11 news songs he wrote with Rebecca, Ron also included 3 instrumentals. He was a bit coy about titles, but said that all the instrumentals are played on banjo, with one being a Scruggs classic, another a Tommy Jackson tune, and the third an old time hymn.
Ron sings lead on all but one track, which was sung by Dan Tyminski, with harmonies provided by Alison Krauss, Kate Rusby, Suzanne Cox and Sidney Cox. He handles the guitar and banjo, with assistance from Barry Bales on bass, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, and a wicked quartet of mando-meisters: Sierra Hull, Sam Bush, Mike Compton and Dan Tyminski. Buddy Green also plays harmonica.
Hopefully some audio samples come available before the release date, which has not been officially announced.