Black Music Matters Festival

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver

Drive Time – 2011 (Mountain Home)

Reviewed by Dr. Tom Bibey

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This collection from Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver is appropriately named. It drives hard from the banjo kick-off on the opening cut, Gone at Last.

The CD is one of irony. There are tales of country stores with pot bellied stoves and hardwood floors, but they are delivered with quality studio sophistication. The song Country Store has lyrics about hot tobacco, kerosene and camo gear, but none of the music sounds the least bit backwoods. The stories are of places about to pass us by, yet played in a modern style with prominent electric bass, snare drum back-beat, and recorded with the most modern technique. The harmonies are tight; typical Lawson fashion, yet reflect a Nashville sensibility in spots. While the purists might claim the near orchestral accompaniment is not traditional bluegrass, no one can argue the quality of the work. Some cuts approach a modern country style, but still do not sell out to commercialism at the expense of art.

One surprise; there are only 7 selections and 25:44 minutes of music. However the songs are generous in both length and quality. Precious Memories is about five minutes. Even though an old standard, it is rendered in a fresh style.