From the opening flurry of flatpicked notes kicking off this album’s initial track, a nimble instrumental called “Roberts Ride,” one can tell that this up-and-coming Kentucky singer, songwriter, and guitarist is a devotee of Tony Rice, but one who won’t leave the harder edges more associated with his home State behind. “Docks Of Sutters Bay,” with its breezy maritime feel punctuated by incisive guitar and resonator guitar runs, reinforces Adams’ affinity for the Rice style and signals that the rest of this 11-track, 40-minute project deserves a close listen.
Adams wrote nine of those eleven tracks with upbeat numbers “Sweat Of Your Brow” and “Up Where The Cold Wind Blows,” showcasing not only those promising writing skills, but a smooth voice with just a bit of a bourbon bite at the back of it. “Hardest Kind Of Memories” is the best all-around track here; don’t be surprised if it lands Adams a record deal or ends up being recorded by a more established act looking for a hit.
Guest artists include Don Rigsby (mandolin, tenor vocal), Randy Kohrs (resonator guitar), Scott Vestal (banjo), Robert Maynard (bass), Jay Weaver (bass), Bo Isaacs (tenor vocal), Jessie Cobb (mandolin), Rudy Roar (mandolin), Jessy Wells (fiddle, guitar) and Luke Bulla (fiddle). No individual track credits are listed, but the picking is fine throughout and careful listeners can pick out their favorite musicians. (Brandon Adams, 31 Freedom Tabernacle Rd., Webbville, KY 41180.) AKH