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Dan Paisley

The South Grass Road Into Town – 2012 (Patuxent)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Dan Paisley

Danny Paisley is second generation bluegrass, always a crowd favorite at festivals. His father, Bob, was a well-known figure on the circuit from the '60's until his death in 2004. Included here is a song from Bob's repertoire, Margie, a song of love lost. This song underscores Paisley's style of fast-moving, bass and banjo-driven bluegrass. His forte is songs like Vern & Ray's Cabin On A Mountain, I Saw Your Face In The Moon, a happy, flowing song famously recorded by Mac Wiseman and Webb Pierce, and Alcatraz Island Blues.

Paisley's voice has a hard edge, but he does justice to a country song. You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover (Statler Brothers, 1974) is one moderately paced example while Carl Smith's hit I Overlooked An Orchid has a tinge of the blues. He might not have fit well in the era of Ray Price's strings-and-orchestra years, but his singing isn't but a few degrees from one of country's early stars, Pierce.

Speaking of Price, bass player Eris Troutman does a good turn with My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You. Paisley plays guitar, award-winning Doug Meek adds fiddle, Mark Delaney plays banjo, and the inimitable Michael Cleveland plays mandolin and harmony fiddle. They get to show off on Cherokee Shuffle, a well known instrumental.

I Heard My Mother Call My Name In Prayer is a Paisley staple, recorded by many bands through the years including Flatt & Scruggs, and from Flatt's Nashville Grass years comes I Been Walkin'.

Bluegrass is in safe hands as long as Danny Paisley keeps putting out bluegrass CDs like "Road Into Town.