Rodney Dillard & The Dillard Band
Don’t Wait For The Hearse To Take You To Church
2.5 stars (out of 5)
A variety of musicians appear on the CD. Steve Bush and Beverly play banjo. Steve, Rodney and Tim Crouch play guitar with Crouch, primarily a studio musician who has played with some of the biggest names in country music, also playing fiddle and mandolin.
George Giddens (fiddle, mandolin) is a member of Dillard’s band. Also playing fiddle is Bruce Hoffman. Rodney adds resophonic guitar and Bush is also playing mandolin and bass. Rounding out the recording group are Marty Wilhite (bass [down towards the bottom of the web page]), a Branson musician who has played with some very big names in the music business, Pete Generous (percussion) and Jim Glasty (harmony vocals).
The CD is loaded on the heavy side with familar songs featuring traditional arrangements. “Somebody Touched Me,” “Softly and Tenderly” and “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms” all have Rodney singing lead. It’s not bad music but, unless you’re just a big Dillard’s fan, there’s not enough unique material here to lure my dollars away. The musicians provide a solid backing to the vocalists but it’s not especially inspired picking. Beverly takes the lead on “[Old] Gospel Ship” and I like her singing but, again, the musical breaks are not all that exciting.
The most entertaining songs are “Hear Them Thunders Roarin” (which appears to be a traditional song but I can’t pinpoint its origin), “River of Jordan”, an old gospel number going back to the Florida Boys, and “Heaven,” a song that’s been around bluegrass for decades. The harmony vocals on “Heaven” aren’t nearly strong enough – they are an integral part of that song, but the instrumental work is very nice. Beverly sings lead on these songs.
The CD ends with four one minute stories about how life in Mayberry is a good example to follow today. I really liked the various series about Mayberry, but these little tidbits don’t much inspire me.