Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Light on My Feet, Ready to Fly
4 stars (out of 5)
“Teddy Bear Revival” is just the sort of track that shows how great Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver can be. The song is about a boy pretending to be an evangelist with his toys serving as a congregation. I can’t imagine such song working for any bluegrass band but Lawson’s, whose unquestionable sincerity brings off the song with just the right amount of sweetness and none of the overwrought sentimentality others would likely add.
The lively “Mountain View Missionary Baptist Church” and the bittersweet “He Will Remember Me,” a tale of love and faith ravaged by Alzheimer’s disease, are also highly listenable tracks instead of cloying novelties thanks to Lawson and company’s professionalism.
Part of that professionalism has been the quality musicians that Lawson recruits to Quicksilver before they, seemingly invariably, set out on other highly successful ventures. The current lineup is no disappointment, with youngsters Corey Hensley (who wrote the title track and “The Hammer of Sin”) on guitar, Josh Swift on Dobro, Jason Barie on fiddle and Jason Leek on bass. Quicksilver veteran Dale Perry is back on banjo and bass vocals.
The unit distinguishes itself instrumentally on the title track and on Carl Story’s “It’s a Mighty Hard Road to Travel,” while achieving harmonic excellence on a cappella numbers “My Lord’s Gonna Move this Wicked Race” and the album closing “Zion Medley.”
Throughout the 11-track, 38-minute all-gospel disc, Lawson’s genteel vocals and smooth, clean mandolin are pleasant assertions that bluegrass music’s best bandleader is still at his peak.
by Aaron Keith Harris