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Dave Adkins Trio

Turn to Jesus – 2017 (Mountain Fever)

Reviewed by Devin Adams

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Dave Adkins does not appear to be able to sit in one place for too long or with the same folks. In just the last few years, Adkins has released a solo album, a project with Steele Republik and even a project with Edgar Loudermilk. This time, Adkins joined up with friends David Taylor and Richie Rose to form the aptly named Dave Adkins Trio.

"Turn To Jesus" is the trio's debut and came about thanks to a couple of cell phone videos taken of the trio singing in the back room of an old church, which got the word out on social media.

Adkins, as expected, handles the bulk of the lead vocals, but three-piece harmony is what the trio is built upon. Instrumentation takes a back seat and sometimes is no more than just a simple guitar strum, thereby giving the vocal work even more of a spotlight. For good measure, a Dobro lick or a mandolin break are sprinkled in, but after a few songs, one may begin to long for some hot picking or a fiddle tune, and the complete lack of banjo may come as a hard pill to swallow.

The selection of songs included are as to be expected. Hank Williams' "House of Gold," Tom T. Hall's "Me and Jesus" and A.P. Carter's "Working on a Building" and "Will the Circle be Unbroken" can be found along with traditional cuts "Crying Holy Unto the Lord" and "Old Rugged Cross." The song selection may be the weakness of the collection as every song has been recorded by dozens of other artists. There are few, if any unique songs included.

The trio teamed with Mountain Fever president, Mark Hodges to produce and engineer. Hodges' vision was to create, "a simplified, acoustic version of music," and that is just what "Turn To Jesus" is.