Deanie Richardson has been working hard for a long time and has helped make many a show and recording a little better with her presence. Joined by a host of musicians, we are treated to her first-class fiddling on this magnificent showcase. From her contest days, we get “Black And White Rag” and “Sopping The Gravy.” We’re treated to original tunes such as “Meadow Dancing” inspired by her young granddaughter, “Chickens In The House,” a title that speaks for itself, and the powerful “Stoney Mae,” a song co-written with Bill Tennyson and sung by Ronnie Bowman. She plays two other old-time tunes, “Lost Indian” and “St. Anne’s Reel,” and when she’s done, they stay played.
Living in the world of fiddle and playing it everyday, one gets into tunes like a listener never will. You find your life in those tunes. You hear things in them and, as a result, see things in them that would be great if they came to pass. Having Patty Loveless sing “Jack Of Diamonds” is a stroke of genius—it’s deep back to the mountains with this tune.
Richardson previously toured with The Chieftains. As result, we have a great Celtic cut with a group of fine musicians steeped in that tradition. Dale Ann Bradley sings “Tears Will Be The Chaser For Your Wine” like she’s spent her whole life in the honky-tonks. This is great classic country—the stuff barrooms were once made for. The steel and fiddles glide over that country shuffle, while Bradley’s voice tells the ever sad story.
Richardson realized that one of her student’s mother had a fantastic voice, so she invited her to sing on this project. “East Virginia” is the essence of the misty mountain loneliness that pervades mountain music. And yes, that student’s mother can sing! This is a great project. It not only highlights Richardson’s fiddle, but it also tells us a lot about her with its richly-varied material. (Pinecastle Records, 2514 River Rd., Ste. 105, Piedmont, SC 29673, www.pinecastle.com.)RCB