Album Review

J.D. Crowe & The New South - Lefty's Old Guitar

J.D. Crowe & The New South - Lefty's Old Guitar

While some icons of country and bluegrass music continue performing long after they've lost their edge, that charge won't stick on J.D. Crowe. He remains one of the most vibrant artists of his generation. In fact, Lefty's Old Guitar sounds like it could have been recorded 30 years ago. This classic sound is due in large part to Crowe's ability to assemble a crackerjack band. Longtime sidemen Rickey Wasson (guitar and vocals) and Dwight McCall (mandolin and vocals) are joined here by the ridiculously talented Ron Stewart on fiddle and young newcomer Harold Nixon on bass. As is his style, Crowe prefers to lead from the background, allowing most of the spotlight to fall on his band. The title track is a tale recounted by Lefty Frizzell's guitar. As a pedal steel weeps tastefully, the instrument recalls playing "Saginaw, Michigan" and "If You've Got The Money, Honey, I've Got The Time" before retiring to a wall at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Wasson's rich vocals are the perfect vehicle for these country textured tunes, including "In My Next Life" and "She Knows When You're On My Mind Again", which features the guest harmonies of Cia Cherryholmes. McCall's crystal-clear tenor and Crowe's baritone round out the trio for more traditional bluegrass arrangements on "Mississippi River Raft", "Rovin' Gambler" and "You Can Be A Millionaire With Me", the album's token gospel number. McCall also takes the high lead on "Just Loving You", "I Only Wish You Knew" and "Blue Bonnet Lane".