Bluegrass is a genre that can take the listener through a variety of emotions. Fast-paced numbers cannot help but bring a smile. Slower tracks can lull the listener into a dream-like state. Some of the best bluegrass groups are those that lead their audience through the spectrum with a single set of tracks.
Mobile’s Delta Reign does just that with their latest release, “Nothing But Sky,” on Travianna Records. Band members Pat Murphy (banjo/vocals), Benita Murphy (guitar/lead vocals), George Mason (fiddle/vocals) and Joshua Faul (bass/vocals), recorded the album at Back Door Studios in Mobile. Afterwards, they passed the tracks to Aaron Ramsey and Mark Hodges for a mix-down at Mountain Fever Studios.
Ramsey also added his skills on the lap steel, mandolin and banjo, and Sean Murphy provided drums. Overall, the excellent musicianship on this album cannot be denied. Each pluck and strum is flawless as clear vocals roll effortlessly across the measures.
“Nothing But Sky” could not have come at a better time of year in the Azalea City. The album compliments the spring weather nicely with 12 excellent tracks tailor-made for outdoor activity. Combined with its previously mentioned emotional nature, the album has something for every occasion. Delta Reign eases the listener in with “Calico Sundown.” As the soothing track progresses, one cannot help but want to lazily drag their feet through the warm waters of a local swimming hole. There are a number of other dreamy tracks such as “I’m Forgiving You” and “My Love Will Remain,” but Delta Reign also includes a collection perfect for spending a Saturday night stomping feet on the front porch. One of the most appealing of the faster tracks is their upbeat cover of “Heartbreak Hotel.” The album’s title track is also infectiously fun and brightly lighthearted.
Furnace fest will be a blast
The state of Alabama can add another major music festival to its offerings. After everyone recovers from Hangout Fest and Bonnaroo, AC Entertainment and Red Mountain Entertainment announced the inaugural Sloss Music & Arts Festival in Birmingham on July 18-19. Sloss Fest will bring an energetic lineup of bands to the historic Sloss Furnaces including Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Primus, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Sturgill Simpson, Big Gigantic, Lee Bains & the Glory Fires and many, many more. Tickets are on sale now at the festival’s website, www.slossfest.com.