Better Days marks the seventh studio recording from Dave Adkins. This one is up to Adkins’ usual high standards, big voice, and contains songs from several well-known writers, as well as the title-track by Dave and his wife Katrina. “Better Days A Coming” is a hard-driving song that tells a good story about putting the pain of a woman’s departure aside and being positive about the future.
Adkins and Greg Preece wrote “Father Of Bluegrass,” a tribute to Big Mon. It mentions some of Monroe’s famous song titles and fits the entire CD nicely. Dave calls upon the writing talents of Rick Lang and Stephen Mougin for “Whiskey Over A Woman,” a song about a man whose lover left him and he turns to whiskey to dull the pain. Lang and Mougin appear again with the song “I’m Gonna Ride” about freedom and feeling open to experience whatever comes along. “Country Sunday” is a spiritual/gospel offering, telling of the family gathering for a cool, country Sunday with all the images of those scenes including wind chimes, church bells, old men in rocking chairs, toes tapping on the porch, dust coming up from the road, and grandma singing “Amazing Grace.”
Aaron Ramsey guests on the recording, playing mandolin, guitar, and bass fiddle on all but one track. Ramsey also performed the final mixing and mastering. Regular band members Joey Shann (banjo and tenor vocals) and Daniel Collier (fiddle and harmony vocals) are joined by Dub Bryant on bass, performing on “Thing About Kindness.” Adkins sings with power, conviction, emotion, and the authenticity he developed in his native Kentucky. Here’s some enjoyable music from a man who obviously loves what he does. (Mountain Fever, 1177 Alum Ridge Rd. NW, Willis, VA 24380, www.mountainfever.com.)BW