Alan Sibley & Anthony Howell
Noxubee Hills Music Group
I expected that those who are connected in business associations would speak well of each other in the media. It’s good public relations. Sometimes, those PR statements hit the nail flush. This is true in the case of Deering Banjo Company CEO Jamie Deering who said Time to Pick “… will lift your spirits and make you smile!”
Deering is referring to the new album from Alan Sibley and Anthony Howell, two Mississippi-based pickers who launched the mandolin-banjo instrumental project in 2020. Howell, who plays with Williamson Branch, endorses Deering Banjos. Sibley, of The Magnolia Ramblers, also hosts Bluegrass Trail on RFD-TV and was Howell’s banjo, guitar and mandolin teacher.
Time to Pick offers quite a range—from old bluegrasser L.V. Beethoven to gospel to traditional. There is something to be said for a CD that kicks off with a bouncy version of “Ode to Joy.”
Traditionalists will enjoy “Red Wing,” “Sailor’s Hornpipe,” “Wildwood Flower” and “Bully of the Town.” Howell has two fine originals, “Mia’s Lament” and “Mark’s Reel.”
The young duo is backed by Mark Tribble on upright bass and Melody Williamson on fiddle on “Mark’s Reel.”
There’s much to enjoy about Time to Pick and Deering gets the last word: “Alan and Anthony bring out life and joy through their music.”