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King goes for "three chords and the truth"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 – James King will about "Three Chords and the Truth" when the bluegrasser's next disc is out Sept. 30 on Rounder. King covers 12 songs from the country music canon, including compositions by Hank Williams, Don Gibson, Vern Gosdin, Leon Payne, Bobby Braddock and Curly Putnam, Warner Mack, Billy Joe Shaver and Harlan Howard.

Devil's Train, from an obscure Hank Williams recording, is the earliest song here, and Riding With Private Malone, the 2001 hit by David Ball, is the most recent. In between are Jason's Farm, a 1975 hit for Cal Smith; Talking To The Wall, a Warner Mack number from 1966; Blue Blue Day, a chart topper for its composer, Don Gibson, in 1958; Shadows Of My Mind, a middling hit for traditional country singer Vernon Oxford in 1975; Sunday Morning Christian by Harlan Howard, who performed his composition in 1971; and Old Five and Dimers, Shaver's imaginative, blues-tinged masterpiece.

King also covered Vern Gosdin's Chiseled In Stone and George Jones classics Things Have Gone To Pieces and He Stopped Loving Her Today.

King was backed by fiddler Jimmy Mattingly, guitarist Josh Williams, banjoist and harmony fiddler Ronnie Stewart, mandolinist Jesse Brock and bassist Jason Moore. King's band mates in the bluegrass supergroup Longview, Dudley Connell and Don Rigsby, lend their vocal harmonies.

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CD reviews for James King

Three Chords and the Truth CD review - Three Chords and the Truth
On his Grammy-nominated album (Best Bluegrass Album 2013), James King, the "Bluegrass Storyteller" offers his own renditions of classic country songs, illustrating through his straight-ahead guitar delivery and emotionally expressive voice the simple yet complex truth of Harlan Howard's famous definition of country music: "It's three chords and the truth." Gathering around him some of the best young bluegrass musicians around - mandolinist Jesse Brock, bassist Jason »»»
Gardens in the Sky: The Bluegrass Gospel of James King CD review - Gardens in the Sky: The Bluegrass Gospel of James King
When bluegrasser James King wraps his vocals around a gospel song either as a solo artist or with the supergroup Longview, it's been a hand-in-glove fit. Yet there wasn't quite enough in King's extensive traditional bluegrass catalog to compile a much-requested all-gospel record. With the help of producer Ken Irwin, King solved that. In early 2007, King recorded 6 new numbers - primarily contemporary gospel songs - and the result is, well, heavenly. In fact, the new stuff not »»»
The Bluegrass Storyteller CD review - The Bluegrass Storyteller
Following a studio absence of 3 years, James King returns for his 5th release on Rounder, a collection of 13 tunes that is possibly his most complete effort to date. As the title suggests, it's a baker's dozen of songs old and new from a who's who of writers that tell classic stories of love lost and love found, sin and redemption, good luck and bad luck, and a classic tearjerker or two thrown in for good measure. Long known as one of the most forceful and direct vocalists in bluegrass, King »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: With or without band, Isbell satisfies – Usually, when an artist performs without his regular backing band, it becomes about mathematics of subtraction. That artist is armed with far fewer artistic weapons at his/her disposal, after all. In Jason Isbell's case, though, when he performed with just his wife and fiddler Amanda Shires, it was more about substitution than subtraction.... »»»
Concert Review: Grammy nominations aside, Yola, Kiah are the real deal – Grammy nominations do not make the artist, but Yola and opener Amythyst Kiah underscored time and again on this night that the honors were well deserved. In fact, Yola and Kiah's other group, Our Native Daughters, are nominated in the same category - Best American Roots. Yola has three other nominations as well. The clear winners... »»»
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