The seeds for this collection of all original songs by Louisa Branscomb began with a conversation between Branscomb and Claire Lynch at the 2009 IBMA World Of Bluegrass. A long-time musician and songwriter, Branscomb has been prolific, writing songs inspired by the world around her. Eventually, the project began to take shape when multiple IBMA award-winner Missy Raines was brought in to co-produce the album with Branscomb, and Alison Brown brought the venture to Compass Records.
The premise is simple. Bring in some of the best musicians and vocalists in the business to flesh out Branscomb’s latest creations. The result is an all-star cast including Lynch, Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Gulley, Alison Krauss, Jim Hurst, Cheryl White, Buck White, Sharon White, Dave Peterson, John Cowan, Josh Williams, and Becky Schlegel. The session musicians include Branscomb, her father Ben Branscomb on harmonica, Alison Brown, Mike Witcher, Rob Ickes, Stuart Duncan, Ethan Ballinger, Alan Bibey, Shad Cobb, Robert Crawford, Dominick Leslie, Jim Hurst, and Raines.
This is a collaborative effort, with Lynch co-writing the first cut “I’m Gonna Love You” and Dale Ann co-writing “I’ll Take Love,” which may be the best song on the album. Other highlights include “That’s What Texas Is For,” a song written after Branscomb’s mother died during the recording sessions. She had The Whites in mind for the song as they both share similar roots in the Lone Star State. Another gem is “This Side Of Heaven,” a song about an old barn destroyed and based upon the Zen proverb: “If your building burns down, there’s just more room to see the stars.” The song turned out to be eerily prescient, as about eight months later Branscomb’s own Georgia farm was hit hard by the tornados of April 2011. (Compass Records, 916 19th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212, www.compassrecords.com.) DH