“Georgia Maple” by Edgar Loudermilk

Edgar Loudermilk
Georgia Maple
Pinecastle Records
3½ stars (out of 5)

By Larry Stephens

Loudermilk has struck out on his own after stints with Rhonda Vincent, Marty Raybon, and IIIrd Tyme Out, then a short–lived partnership with Dave Adkins. He’s included both bluegrass and country–done–bluegrass songs, including one of several he composed, “Until Your Love Brings Me Back.” Glen Crain kicks it off on Dobro and provides fills behind the vocals, setting just the right mood. “My Home In Caroline” is a good bluegrass number as is “My Kentucky Home,” this time with a kickoff by Zack Autry playing mandolin. After a while you start wondering why there are no banjo kickoffs. The cuts are not loaded with banjo but guest Chris Wade does start “This Letter” and the only barn–burner on the CD, “Trains Can’t Turn Around,” a story about broken love that just can’t get right.

The harmony singing isn’t my favorite style. The lead vocal sets on top of the harmony while the harmony parts fill in around it. It’s a matter of taste, but I prefer the harmony to be shared without the lead overwhelming the other parts. The band, including Jeff Autry on guitar, is the Adkins & Loudermilk band, now just missing Dave Adkins.

“It Must Be Love,” made famous by Don Williams, makes a reasonable transition to bluegrass but “I’ll See You In My Dreams” might have made a better instrumental highlight than the sung version. I don’t beleieve a banjo is an absolute requirement to make a song or tune bluegrass but, overall, this project seems a bit light with the five–string. The overall musicianship is good as is the singing, other than my feeling the harmony gets short shrift.

Edgar Loudermilk - Georgia Maple