“East Tennessee Sunrise” by Stuart Wyrick

Stuart Wyrick
East Tennessee Sunrise
Rural Rhythm Records
4½ stars (out of 5)

By Larry Stephens

Wyrick has played banjo with a number of bluegrass groups including the Dale Ann Bradley Band and Brand New Strings and is now a member of Flashback. His new solo release features top–name bluegrass musicians and a host of excellent singers. His composition “Riding On The Clouds” is played in a minor key and showcases the band’s abilities including some difficult harmomics. Steve Gulley drives it along on bass while Alan Bibey plays mandolin and Kenny Smith adds guitar. Reaching back to Charlie and Ira Louvin, Gary Kidwell sings lead on “Born Again” with Gulley and Wyrick doing a great job on harmony.

No one sings “Walking the Floor Over You” like its composer, Ernest Tubb. Originally recorded with just Tubb and Fay “Smitty” Smith on electic guitar, he re–recorded it with the Troubadors. Fiddler Bobby Atcheson doesn’t get air time in this version of Tubb’s many renditions but Tim Crouch shares the kickoff on Wyrick’s version with Keith Garrett singing lead and Kenny Smith covering Billy Byrd’s spot on lead guitar. Garrett also sings lead on “Little Moonshine Johnny,” a moonshiner who was small in stature but “as mean as the tree is tall.” The musicianship is excellent on this cut.

The CD is loaded with instrumentals. The title song flows with a bit of western swing sound as the musicians take their turns on this Wyrick composition. “Freda Florentine” was composed by Gary Scruggs and dates back to Flatt and Scruggs’ 1968 LP, “Nashville Airplane.” Listen to Phil Leadbetter taking a break on the Dobro on this number. Another good number composed by Wyrick is “Jennifer Dale Breakdown” and another good breakdown is “Stitzenburg Breakdown.”

Have no doubt: this is great bluegrass. Listen to Vic Graves sing “The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow” and you know Mr. Monroe would have been proud of this recording. It doesn’t get better than that.

Stuart Wyrick - East Tennessee Sunrise

One comment

  1. Listened to Stuart play in church for years and I’m so proud of his accomplishments. He’s not only a great talent but also a sincerely good man. Can’t wait to get my copy of this CD!

Comments are closed.