New Bluegrass: Larry Stephenson Band — ‘Weep Little Willow’

Larry Stephenson Band — ‘Weep Little Willow’

Label: Whysper Dream Music

Larry Stephenson Band’s new album, Weep Little Willow, just about claims the high, lonesome sound of bluegrass as their own trademark. Stephenson’s clear tenor, given occasional thrust from the rest of the band’s pitch-perfect harmonies, is the epitome of traditional bluegrass at its best. The latest release, their third on the Whysper Dream Music label, is a satisfying blend of contemporary and classic songs.

The Larry Stephenson Band includes Larry Stephenson (Lead & Tenor Vocals, Mandolin), Kenny Ingram (Harmony Vocals, Banjo), Kevin Richardson (Lead & Harmony Vocals, Guitar), and Matt Wright (Lead & Harmony Vocals, Upright Bass). The tracks on this album compelled me to hit the “repeat” button again and again. Good stuff, to say the least.

Mention should be made of the gorgeous album artwork by Dreama Stephenson. It is a highly effective evocation of the music within. It has a refinement and spare-yet-essential quality that the Larry Stephenson Band absolutely delivers.

Tracks include:

01  Yesterday’s Gone 2:28 (C. Stuart, W. Kidd)
02  It Almost Feels Like Love 2:25 (Randall Hylton)
03  Sweet Little Darling (Don’t You Cry) 2:55 (Billy Smith, Jon Weisberger)
04  Let Those Brown Eyes Smile At Me 3:16 (R. Nail)
05  Nail My Shoes To The Floor 2:27 (Bill Anderson)
06  Weep Little Willow, Weep 3:25 (Donna Ulisse, Rick Stanley)
07  Before I Met You 2:35 (Charles L. Seitz, Joe Lewis, William J. Denny)
08  Kentucky Waltz 3:52 (Bill Monroe)
09 Ruby’s Purse 3:14 (Jerry Salley, Suzanne Mumpower Johnson)
10  Free Me From This Old Chain Gang 3:07 (Mac Wiseman)
11  Best Laid Plans 3:49 (Rick Lang, Troy Engle)
12  Midnight Train 2:34 (Alton Delmore)

Essential Downloads: “Yesterday’s Gone,” “Before I Met You,” “Best Laid Plans.”

To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.

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