In times like these, we could all use a little Mayberry in our lives, and Daryl Mosley serves up lots of it in "A Life Well Lived," his third Pinecastle Records album. Simpler times, honest living and thankfulness for the little things in life are reflected in these easy-paced bluegrass tunes.
"Mayberry State of Mind" represents the spirit of this album, as Mosley's warm lead vocal blends with background harmonies while we're treated to images of a friendly game of checkers, a slice of homemade apple pie and an afternoon down by the river. You can imagine Andy and Opie walking down to the fishin' hole as Mosley sings of taking a break from the daily grindstone.
"Back When We Were Boys" follows a similar vein, taking a nostalgic look at the innocence of childhood, when comic books and baseball cards were the all-important things in life. "A Life Well Lived" offers words of wisdom from a grandpa, against a background of lively fiddle work and beautiful vocal harmony.
"We Need More of That" tells us we need more of the good, honest and simple pleasures in life, such as swimming holes, fishing poles, fried chicken on the table and standing up for what's right.
On "Thankful," the title says it all, as the singer tells us he is simply thankful for all the blessings in his life. "Nobody But Her," a tender, quiet ballad, is a tribute to the woman who stands by him, though life with him has been "heavy on the wilderness and not much promised land."
Mosley, who was in New Tradition and The Farm Hands, wrote all the songs here, with Rick Lang sharing credits on four tunes. Instrumentally, Mosley (bass) is accompanied by Danny Roberts of The Grascals (mandolin and co-producer with Mosley), Tony Wray (guitar and banjo), and Adam Haynes (fiddle), with harmony vocals by Riley Dotson, Jaelee Roberts, Jeanette Williams, and a guest appearance by Ronnie Booth ("Big God").
This album is not Billy Strings, Stringdusters or Ricky Skaggs/Kentucky Thunder-style bluegrass. If there were a category called Feel Good Bluegrass, "A Life Well Lived" would fit right in.