Larry Stephenson

20th Anniversary – 2010 (Whypser Dream)

Reviewed by Dr. Bobby Jones

See it on Amazon

CDs by Larry Stephenson

When your picking party is attended by Skaggs, Reno, McCoury, Benson, Bradley, Dailey, Osborne, Connell, Stuart, Parmley, Haynie and more, you're gonna have rocking good gig. Indeed Larry Stephenson does. He starts out with straight bluegrass and then moves into a country influence on Talk to Me Lonesome Heart. Marty Stuart and his wife Connie Smith join in on vocals, and Kristin Scott Benson does some cool passing chord banjo work.

There is perfect Louvin brothers style duet work on Give This Message to Your Heart, (Dailey and Vincent) lonesome fiddling, Mac Wiseman story songs and call and response singing with Dale Ann Bradley. (This Heart of Mine Can Never Say Good Bye). Add in a gospel number, Bill Monroe and Jimmie Rogers songs, and Stephenson covers a number of bluegrass influences on one project.

Talk to Me Lonesome Heart is repeated as the last selection, but is done in traditional country style with pedal steel and drums. Stuart and Smith handle either genre with ease, and it makes for an interesting contrast on one project.

Larry Stephenson always sings 'em high and clear, and the variety on his "20th Anniversary " is first rate.