CD Review: Cedar Hill – By Request


By Request

Journey of Faith – I Beg To You – On Hobo’s Wings
– Broke Hearts Are Real – Pearl’s Song – Ice On The Timber – False
Hearted Love – Heartaches and Teardrops – Echo Mountain – Mary O’Grady –
Dusty Miller – For Me it’s Hello

Cedar Hill is one of the very best ‘original’ Bluegrass bands in
the State of Missouri.  An old friend, Frank Ray is the mandolin picker
leader, and he is also one terrific songwriter, expertly suited to
Bluegrass music.  He wrote no less than seven of these incredible songs
on this 50-year tradition CD.  What’s also a real treat here is the
vocals by several of the members; Frank Ray, Jim Bunch, Patti LaFleur,
and Dan Stokely.  We know who they are, but we don’t know which song
they are singing on  But that’s all right.  They are all exceptionally
wonderful vocalists for this genre of music, which is important today to
Christians, because these beautiful songs are exactly what we need to
hear in this time of despair and exploitation in our beautiful country. 
We’ve been blanketed with a kind of negative despair that continues to
expose us to hatreds we never believed could exist in this last country
of liberty on planet earth.  Cedar Hill makes it all perfectly clear
with “On Hobo’s Wings” a song by Thomas Gardiner.  Wow, it don’t get
much more ‘real’ than that short sermon with incredible acoustic music
makers. These musicians have been together for a time, and that is
apparent in the way they play their music.  Like I said, Frank Ray is on
mandolin, and indeed he is ON mandolin; Jim Bunch is a nice straight
forward banjo, and doesn’t overdo it, he keeps it right in line with
what they are singing….and saying.  Pete Brown is on fiddle, smooth
and tasty just like it should be, also like the way he’s ‘mixed’ into
the music mixture by Jim Bunch at the Palm Recording Studio in Rogers,
Arkansas.  Patti LaFleur is on upright bass, and she sounds just right. 
She doesn’t use this instrument as a ‘lead’ instrument, she plays it
exactly as it was meant to be played in Bluegrass music.  Ferrell Stowe
is on the Dobro (or resonator guitar) and the Oahu.  Three super
guitarists playing some mighty acoustic instruments, Bobby Minner, Britt
McGarity, and Don Smith.  What an extremely beautiful experience to
hear this band doing their ‘thing’ mainly making absolutely beautiful
Bluegrass music in a little different style, but staying to the genre,
making anyone listening ‘shiver to the bone.’ It’s also a complete
‘message’ found in these original words, written exactly as they were
meant to be written.  The words that float through our minds, that
eventually find themselves written on a piece of paper, eventually find
themselves becoming a musical experience, eventually find themselves in
the ears and minds of people who need them most in this time of trial
and tribulation all Christians are experiencing today.  Thank you so
much Lord Jesus Christ for making this possible.  Thank you Frank Ray
and Cedar Hill for ‘sharing’ what only you can hear before you hear it. 
God Bless You.  Off this goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission for
their CD of the Year awards.  Not too late for this year’s selections. RECORD REVIEW BY Bob Everhart, President, National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International

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