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CD: BARRY WARD – Distant Furrows, Pickin’ Plowin’ & Playin’

BARRY WARD
Distant Furrows, Pickin’ Plowin’ & Playin’
Wheatfields – Crossing Jordan – Sonrise –
Grandpa’s Song – God’s Perfect Love – Bloodline – Lord I Need You –
Harvest In The Fall – My Blood Is In This Land – When I Grow Up – Dust
In The Wind – Angel’s Heart – Man I Used To Be – Prairie Wind – Statue
In The Heat – Young Farmers and Ranchers – Farming Sun Blues – How Great
Thou Art
 
Today’s my lucky day.  I get to listen to some of the best
songwriting and musical recordings I’ve heard in a long long time. 
Barry Ward, and his lovely wife Victoria, make their home on a ranch in
Colorado.  This has not prevented him from being a gifted country and
western songwriter and recording artist.  My favorite song on this CD is
“When I Grow Up” as it demonstrates the very real validity of a
beautiful male voice, singing a really beautiful self-written song. 
Reminds me that perhaps when Barry was just a young boy, he said to his
mother…”Mom, when I grow up, I want to be a songwriter.” and his
mother promptly replied, “Son, you can’t do both, so pick one.”  I’m
really really glad Barry Ward didn’t grow up.  This CD is without a
doubt his very best work….ever.  He also, besides that beautiful
voice, as so well represented on this same song, has the ability to pick
his backing and pick it aptly and beautifully.  Barry plays rhythm
guitar, and adds Joe Stephenson on fiddle (which he applies so liberally
and beautifully to ‘When I Grow Up”), as well as acoustic guitar and
bass; Allan Blackwell on cello, guitar and percussion; Ernie Martinez on
dobro, clawhammer banjo, acoustic guitar and mandolin; Lewis Mock on
harmonica acoustic and electric guitar; Jimmy Lee Robbins on acoustic
guitar; Sue Link on fiddle; Jory Lane on cello; and lots of those same
folks singing harmonies.  Anyone who likes original and traditional
country music can see from this instrumentation line-up that this is the
‘real-deal.’  Barry writes about some incredibly important topics on
many American’s minds these days. What happened to our beautiful past,
and what is ahead for us in this tumultuous world we live in today. 
Barry posts a warning on his CD cover….”WARNING excessive consumption
of this music may result in wavy plow lines, giving up your box seats at
the 3i show and trading in the ol’ chisel for a new pickup truck.”  He
doesn’t stray far from the ranch does he?  But as an afterthought he
adds…”RX prescribed in one large dose taken daily.”  That’s exactly
what I’m doing today, listening to a magnificent male human being that
writes and sings his soul.  Totally!  My deepest regrets Barry, for the
immense stupidity that exists in America’s ‘commercial’ country music
today.  In the meantime, off this wonderful CD goes to the Rural Roots
Music Commission for their consumption, and I’m sure it’s going to be a
big dose.
MUSIC REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART – www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International

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