2013 Music – Bluegrass from Della Mae – This World Can Oft Be!


della-mae-rounderOk so the other night I wrote that for me the most important aspect of the music I listen to, is the quality of the musicianship of the artists. I like music where the vocals almost take a backseat to the music.When I listen to music, I want to hear the individual instruments  not just a blending of all the instruments together. I live for the solos!! I wrote “Give me a tight bluegrass band with a great mandolin, banjo or dobro player and I’m a happy camper”. Well, after listening to Della Mae‘s new album This World Oft Can Be, I’m one happy camper, because these five women can bring it!! And as an added bonus, the vocals are great too!

As I listened to the album for the first time last night, I thought the opening track “Letter From Down the Road” was great, the first thing I noticed was the fiddle. (Today I read that the fiddle was John Hartford’s custom carved fiddle. It must have been a treat to play it!), Then the music kept getting better and better, as the mandolin stood out on “Maybelline” and by the fourth song “Empire” I was  a fan. The songs throughout the album are well constructed, as the fiddle of  two-time National Fiddle Champion Kimber Ludiker and the tasty mandolin of Jenni Lyn Gardner interweave perfectly with the vocals of Celia Wooodsmith and the guitar of Courtney Hartman,  while the sharp bass of Shelby Means holds up the bottom. According to founder Kimer Ludiker “The whole band had a big part in arranging the songs, most written by Celia and Courtney, and together we molded them into what you’ll hear on the album”‘

The album was recorded at Cash Cabin Studio, Johnny Cash’s former recording base, in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and was producer by guitarist Bryan Sutton. According to their website:

This World Oft Can Be’s 12 songs—including such engaging originals as “Empire,” “Paper Prince,” “Maybeline” and the feisty title track—showcase the fivesome’s world-class instrumental abilities, lilting harmonies and subtly commanding lead vocals. Although the musicians’ sublime skills have already won them numerous individual honors, the album’s focus is squarely on the band’s emotionally potent songs and spirited, effortlessly expressive performances.

When the music all comes together in their high-energy performances  it’s easy to see why the group has an enthusiastic following at festivals around the country, won countless contests and shared the stage with the likes of Willie Nelson, Del McCoury, Leon Russell and Laurie Lewis.

So check them out at all the usual places… Here’s the official video for the song “Empire”