Circle Up

Englehardt Music Group

Deanie Richardson is one of the better kept secrets in bluegrass music.  Can you write that about someone who has won two major awards? After the release of her album Circle Up, it may be an irrelevant question as the fiddler’s latest effort won’t escape notice as it is tight top to bottom.

Richardson is part of the groundbreaking group Sister Sadie, where she has played alongside Dale Ann Bradley, Tina Adair and Gena Britt. The group won IBMA “Vocal Group of the Year” in 2019 and then took home “Entertainer of the Year” in 2020. Richardson was the first female to capture the “Fiddle Player of the Year” award in 2020.

The first single released from the album is “Walking in My Sleep,” an old tune made famous by Arthur Smith. While the other cuts rounding out the dozen are all strong, “Durham’s Bull,” “Fisher’s Hornpipe” and “Devil on the Stump” are not to be missed. Several songs are either arranged by, or with, Glen Duncan and there is one original, “Dancing with James.” 

The album cover features a low angle shot of two dancers and Richardson has mentioned in interviews that she wanted Circle Up to be about Saturday night square dances and the songs she grew up listening to and learning to play.

In this first effort with Englehardt Music Group, the fiddler is joined by Duncan, Rob Ickes (Dobro), Scott Vestal (banjo), Cody Kilby (guitar), Dennis Crouch (bass) and Casey Campbell (mandolin).

It’s a nice collection, arranged well and certainly an enjoyable listen for fiddle lovers and anyone who appreciates a fresh take on old time music.

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