CD Review: Ben McLure – Movin’ Forward – by Bob Everhart for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show


Movin’ Forward

In The Jailhouse Now – Family Bible – 14 Carat
Mind – How Would You Live – 30,Pieces of Silver – Deeper Than The Holler
– Those Memories of You – Pray For the Boys – I Sang Dixie – Farmers
Blues – The Old Rugged Cross – Wings Of A Dove

Well, here’s the ‘truth’ of it.  We have another
‘champion’ for real traditional and classic country music, and he makes
his home in Des Moines, Iowa, of all places.  23 year old Ben McClure
has exactly what it takes to make this musical genre ‘stay around a lot
longer.’  Ben’s true musical talent is in his fiddle. This is the
instrument that has propelled him to the position he now holds, however,
his voice is the ‘selling point’ that makes this, his first recording,
an absolutely beautiful and wonderful testimony to what ‘real’ country
music is all about. Thank goodness he had the ‘ear’ and the ‘gear’ of
Paul and Betty Fay to help him through this ‘first-time’ recording
experience.  It’s absolutely amazing to hear this young man do it so
beautiful, so wonderful, so ‘real.’  He starts with a better than the
‘Brother’ version of “In The Jailhouse Now” with a yodel that just
knocked my socks off.  He yodels again in “Farmer’s Blues.” There’s a
Dobro in “Jailhouse” that also knocked my socks off.  Now I’m barefoot
listening to the rest of this incredible recording.  By the time I got
to “How Would You Live” I wasn’t ready for the next incredible addition
to an already number one recording.  The ‘harmony’ singing behind his
very country and very vivid, and very authentic, country voice is
absolutely magnificent.  I haven’t heard it this good since I was
evaluating CD’s some 25 years ago.  There is some excellent ‘mix’ going
on during this recording session.  Ben plays most of the instruments,
and of course it’s his fiddle that carries the ‘real country’ sound, but
his ability on mandolin, banjo, and I believe he must have been on the
Dobro on the beginning song, but credits do not say this, and we also
hear him on acoustic guitar that stands out like a beacon in the night. 
He’s also not ashamed to sing some gospel music devoted to the Lord
Jesus Christ.  Nashville so-called country singers don’t do this
anymore, but Ben McClure is not a coward, he is a new light burning
brightly showing all of us where ‘truth’ does persist, and it certainly
does that in this incredible CD.  Ben lets the banjo speak for itself on
“Those Memories of You.”  Oh yeah!  And I also like the versatility of
Ben’s voice too.  He isn’t afraid to get to a comfortable key to sing
in, and does it well.  There’s a ‘steel guitar’ in “I Sang Dixie” OR IS
THAT a steel guitar? It’s not listed as a participating instrument,
whatever it is, it’s absolutely convincing.  Ben is not afraid to use
“devotion’ in his voice either, and does it well on “The Old Rugged
Cross.” Good harmony there too.  Ben closes with “Wings of a Dove” and
we can hear some female voices in the harmony.  How much better can it
get?  I’m ready for the next one. Ben brought 50 CD’s to his record
release party at the Oak Tree in Anita, Iowa, and went home with none.

RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, Pres., National Traditional Country Music Assn., for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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