Pine Castle Records
Bradley, a five-time IBMA “Female Vocalist of the Year” award winner, former member of the Coon Creek Girls and Sister Sadie and one of the best singers around, recently noted that, “bluegrass can go anywhere, do anything, rip your heart out and make you laugh.”
Most of these 10 songs will do a number on your heart. This powerful collection is full of pathos; full of humanity. It’s got ballads and laments portraying good people who pay a heavy emotional price for the cruelty, indifference or inflexibility of others.
“L.A. International Airport” and “Lost More Than I Knew” (one of three deeply moving Bradley originals herein) capture not just the pain but also underlying complexities of heartbreak.
“Lynwood” is a deeply felt and finely drawn character sketch of an emotionally shattered Vietnam vet who gave nearly all only to end up with nothing.
“Yellow Creek” is painted on a larger tapestry, but it’s no less heartrending. It’s a sorrowful remembrance of The Trail of Tears, a national tragedy and an indelible stain on our history.
Other selections, such as “Pearl,” are personal meditations on loved ones who are living too close to the edge or have already gone over.
These are hard-hitting songs indeed, and what really sells them is Bradley’s wonderful singing. The only little nitpick I have with this otherwise mightily impressive album (which Bradley also produced) is that maybe her voice could have been given just a little more clarity and separation within the overall mix.