ShoeFly has put together a fine mix of tunes and songs that smoothly span the gamut from old-time to bluegrass to classic early country. The CD title reflects the WSM radio station responsible for inspiring so many musicians and exposing them to the wide variety of traditional music reflected on this release.
ShoeFly personnel includes Rick Good from the 1970s Hotmud Family on banjo, guitar, and vocals , Sharon Leahy on vocals, guitar, and bass, journeyman Paul Kovac on guitar, banjo, mandolin, and vocals, Leahy’s son Ben Cooper on guitar, fiddle, bass, and vocals, and Emma Young on vocals and bass. The CD kicks off appropriately with “Eight More Miles To Louisville,” with great lead vocals by Good, solid harmony, and sweet double banjos—old-time and bluegrass. “Rocky Road Of Love” is a very catchy number featuring Paul Kovac’s lead vocal and twin guitar leads with Good fingerpicking and Kovac flatpicking. Leahy handles the lead vocals on the fine, understated “Just One Teardrop,” which has some nice interplay between Good’s fingerstyle guitar and Kovac’s mandolin. “Go On Nora” is a rousing old-time vocal number with some wonderful banjo and fiddle work. Good’s “Count On Being Blue” is a bluegrass tune in the classic mold, done bluegrass-style. “A Year Ago Today” is a soulful lament to a lost spouse. Don Stover’s “Things In Life” gets excellent treatment at a gentle pace. “Foggy Mountain, Brokedown” is another Good original with the classic country sound from the 1930s or ’40s. The remainder of the 16 cuts are equally well done.
This is a fine release, with a versatile, talented group moving effortlessly from one style to the next, infusing each tune with the distinctive touch and treatment that makes all the difference. Highly recommended. (Paul Kovak, 10260 Chardon Rd., Chardon, OH 44024, www.paulkovak.com.)AW