by Preshias Harris
Bluegrass Music defines a genre of music as truthful as the words in RED in the Good Book. This is why country artist Clinton Gregory and his first “release” as a Bluegrass artist fits this music like and a hand and a glove.
Clinton, has lived life full circle; from records and albums on the chart with success in the early ’90s, (including one of my favorite songs “If It Weren’t For Country Music I’d Go Crazy”) to tours and sold out shows. Then his life went 180 degrees into a painful divorce, addiction and loss of his record deal. He was in a downward spiral and stayed there until an earth angel by the name of Hank Cochran entered the picture, along with a VERY long talk with Jesus, and his conversion back to his faith, and in 2005 he was back on track. Clinton hit it head on, performing, recording, touring and songwriting. Listen to track number twelve “Crucifixion.” The heaven-influenced lyrics and Clinton’s surreal delivery will make the goose bumps appear and make you stop in you tracks. Four minutes and 34 seconds of the pure truth.
When I meet Clinton in the early 1990’s, he hadn’t been in Nashville very long. He had just come from the Virginia Bluegrass Music scene. Proficient on fiddle and guitar since the age of 10, I am surprised it took 40 years for him to do a bluegrass to the bone album. I must remember; it’s God’s time not ours.
Clinton lights up the fiddle on “Katy Hill” and he brings his musical vision full force on some ‘Country to the Core’ favorites and puts his vocal and instrumental artistry on these tracks to bring them home. Tracks such as ”Looking For A Place To Fall Apart” written by Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Freddy D. Powers. Then you have “I Never Go Around Mirrors,” “Little Cabin Home On The Hill” and “Somehow Tonight.” When you have Lefty Frizzell, Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt co-penning these legendary songs, you’d better make sure, you nail them. Clinton definitely makes these heroes and legends of bluegrass proud!
For more information on Clinton Gregory, visit: www.melodyroundupmusic.com
* My wish is for this album is for it to be a serious contender in the IBMA’s nomination rounds. This musical journey is worthy of this noteworthy recognition.
Preshias Note: Roots Of My Raising was recorded with The Clinton Gregory Bluegrass Band, who will be touring in support of the album. Harold Roper is on banjo, Doug Flowers on mandolin, Scott Terry on bass and Gregory on guitar and fiddle.
This CD Review is dedicated to my other daddy Van McCombs. He took me to my first Bluegrass festival in Leitchfield, KY and I fell in love with the music. Two of the finalists were Jimmy Mattingly (Garth Brooks) and Mark O’ Connor Global Instrumentalist).
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