CD Review: Larry Alderman – The Circle – by Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show
Dictionary defines “Songwriter” as a person who composes words or music or both,
especially for popular songs. It fails to mention that songwriters are also
“Soul’ writers who write from the heart and soul, like my friend and CMA Song
of the Year Nominee, ASCAP award winning and Grammy-nominated songwriter Larry
I get into this album review, let me give you some background on Larry. He and
Andy Griffith were born and raised in Mt. Airy North Carolina. Their home town
is the real Mayberry RFD, as seen for many years on TV on The Andy Griffith
Show. Larry played guitar on Main Street in front of Floyd’s Barbershop,
where old men sat and played checkers on a bench while they sold newspapers on
a news stand. Larry put this image in his hit song “Americana” (nominated
for CMA Song of the Year) recoded by Moe Bandy.
entry into Music Row wasn’t an easy one. In the summer of 1971 Larry did what
many hopeful songwriters do: he slept in his ‘66 Ford by the Riverfront. Larry even wrote a book about it,
appropriately titled Did I Sleep in My 66 Ford For This, available at
Amazon and other online outlets.
notable ‘hopefuls’ who did so include John Hiatt and Chris Janson. Larry hung
around the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry. He met the Wilburn
Brothers company publisher, Leslie Wilburn, and she signed Larry to a six-year
exclusive writer’s contract with Sure-Fire Music. Then the army came calling
and Larry would not return to Nashville until 1980. Larry ended up as a staff
writer at Loretta Lynn’s publishing company for over 15 years. Now this ‘soulwriter’
has come full circle after having written hits recorded by Travis Tritt,
Loretta Lynn, Mel McDaniel, Hank Williams Jr., John Michael Montgomery, Moe
Bandy, Alecia Nugent, the Roys, Confederate Railroad, the Haley Sisters, Doyle
Lawson & Quicksilver, George Jones, Ken Mellons, Wesley Dennis… and now
Larry has recorded his songwriter’s album.
Alderman’s album, titled The Circle, takes you around the simple life of
the USA. MY FAVE!
remake of the 1988 campaign song ‘Americana” is the one that President George
Bush Sr. used as his campaign theme song while it was on the charts in 1988.
Larry’s version of “Americana” is probably my favorite version! NOTE: (feat.
Sliding Smiffy & John Wesley Ryles).
the Cumberland River” (feat. Carl Jackson) is a story song about the simple
life of the people who depend on the river for survival and how modernization
took away their way of living and their way of life. Being resilient, they
forged on like the river. A very deep and dark story, but echoes the truth of
rural America. I can see this song being a backdrop for a movie.
Circle” (feat. The Haley Sisters). This song brings you into a relationship
that is trying to get back to the first time you fell in love and hoping that
the love you both share can overcome the hurt and bring the strength back to
the love. Classic country music at its best! I can hear George and Tammy making
this a bona fide hit.
Blues” It’s reminiscing of the “Juke Joints” tunes with the player piano and
banjo winding through the production. With the old school words and harmonic
sequence with the blues under tones and lyrical themes makes Larry shine with
this story song.
Dan” is my second favorite! His lyrical description of the mountain side filled
with pine trees and the lazy days growing up in the country with his childhood
friend Dan. His memories about chasing chickens around and catching tadpoles in
mason jars paint a picture of Mayberry as an uncomplicated small town, off the
beaten path of the world.
to My Heart.” The title sets the stage for a wonderful melodic insight into
helping a confused heart overcome the crack when the mind has already moved on.
This song is forthright and genuine in the effort to help the heart pull
through this grief of a lost love especially in spite of the hardship of
Roses” is about the deposit of heartache that has left its mark on the man.
“Run along the banks of your memory” and “Down the tangle path of where we
been” reminds the listener of the breaking of his heart every time he mentally
retraces his steps of their long-gone love.
“Walking Away” Larry lists things that are making you think you are leaving the
person that you like, for brighter things on the other side of the
rainbow. “Can’t stop the breeze from blowing – can’t put a rope on the wind”…”I
might hang my hat on your post but I’ll be moving again.” Words come around as
the drifter who has a gypsy soul who was born to leave, not to stay. Excellent
vision on a guy who wonders in and out of your life and heart.
Circleis now available from Amazon Music, Spotify and
other music outlets. You can also order it direct from Larry. See his Facebook
NOTE: Larry takes you winding through America, in heartache, survival, love lost
and lifestyle of rural American. If you want a “Calgon” effect of music to take
you away, this is the album for you.
The first known use of the word songwriter was in 1721.