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(540) 745-2001 • info@countysales.com

MARK NEWTON BAND 'Hillbilly Hemingway'

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Newton has a track record of putting out well-crafted, excellent Bluegrass records, and this is probably his best to date, maybe even surpassing his wonderful "Follow Me Back To The Fold" album that won Recorded Event Of The Year in 2001. What makes this new CD stand out is a fine selection of material and the superb touch of producer Carl Jackson, who knows how to combine the best elements of hard Bluegrass and mainstream country music, ending up with a lovely, thoroughly professional contemporary sound (Jackson's fairly recent Louvin Brothers tribute album, which won many plaudits & garnered big sales is a good example of his work). This is a gem of an album for anyone (like me) who has a soft spot for the nostalgic & sentimental: there is a distinct thread that runs through the best of the songs here, including the title song about Hank Williams. Powerful songs in this vein are OLD DIRT ROAD, Jackson's HOME FOLKS and JESSE & ME, and my favorite, the poignant IT'S A GOOD TOWN TO DIE IN. In addition, there's a lovely vocal by Newton's bass player Beth Lawrence, BLESSINGS, an exciting STILLHOUSE ROAD, and a fine gospel quartet in WHEN THE TRUMPET SOUNDS. But every track is good: there's no weak material on this great album --HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.