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Edgar Loudermilk

Georgia Maple – 2016 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Edgar Loudermilk

Pinecastle

Edgar Loudermilk began his national professional career with Rhonda Vincent, soon moving to Marty Raybon's band and then to IIIrd Tyme Out. Along the way he had two solo projects, then partnered with Dave Adkins for one CD before deciding to go it alone with his own band. He composed or co-composed eight of the tracks here. Loudermilk positions himself as a bluegrass artist and people have been cussing and discussing what "bluegrass" means for years. Some songs offered by Loudermilk lean towards country. "This Letter" is a run-of-the-mill plaint about love gone wrong. "I did wrong, you left, please forgive me and come back" is a recurring theme and it's tough to pen a song that really catches your attention. It - and the other tracks - does feature good instrumental work from the father and son team of Jeff (guitar) and Zack Autry (mandolin). They also add harmony vocals, but these are weakly mixed in and don't add as much to the vocals as they could.

"My Kentucky Home" is perhaps the best bluegrass number, with the mountains, mom and dad and the disappearing home site all included. Glen Crain does a good job on the Dobro and Chris Wade, another Raybon veteran, adds a good, crisp banjo. Another good bluegrass number is "My Home In Caroline" but "It Must Be Love," an Alan Jackson hit from 1999, is country with a Dobro thrown in. While a long list of songs from other genre have found their way into the bluegrass repertoire, "I'll See You In My Dreams," written in 1924 and recorded by many through the years, is done here in a swing version and seems an odd fit.

Loudermilk has some good, but he could have made better use of his harmony vocalists. If it's supposed to be bluegrass, he could have stayed closer to the bluegrass sound.