Union House Records
Mike Bentley is from eastern Kentucky, Pike County to be specific, a region that has produced some of the best bluegrass and country musicians of the last century. Bentley has played bluegrass music since he was a teenager, in bands including Ernie Thacker & Route 23, Dismal Pike, and Cumberland Gap Connection for the past decade. Now a new member of Alan Bibey & Grasstowne, he’s finally realized his dream of recording a solo album that highlights his rich bluegrass voice.
All I’ve Got is produced by Bibey and fleshes out Bentley’s vision with a great lineup of established bluegrass musicians including guitarist Wyatt Rice, Blue Highway’s Shawn Lane on fiddle and singing harmony, Ronnie Bowman on harmony vocals, Rob Ickes on resonator guitar, Sideline’s Jason Moore on bass, Greg Luck on bass vocals, and Justin Jenkins and Rod Smith sharing banjo duties.
The highlights include Bentley singing a sweet duet with Charli Robertson of Flatt Lonesome on “Someone Else.” Bentley also revives two songs by the late Harley Allen, the rollicking “My Remains” and the easy-flowing story song “Casualties Along The Way.” A personal favorite of mine is “One Black Rock At A Time,” dedicated to the coal miners in Bentley’s family and the rest of Appalachia. Written by Jeff McClellan and Scott Patrick, the song rings true for Bentley who worked above ground at the mines, as his dad drove a coal truck and his uncles worked the mines underground. At 40 years of age, it’s high time the greater bluegrass world got wind of Bentley’s distinctive voice. (www.cumberlandgapconnection.com)DH