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A Local Piece of American Tradition
Till the End of Time (Independent)
The Whiskey Bent Valley Boys
By Hunter Embry
Grab a straw hat, a pair of overalls and borrow some of grandpappy's old cough medicine. The Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, four guys from just outside Louisville, recently released their debut album and it's full of knee-slappin', foot-tappin' bluegrass.
Till the End of Time, a 12-track mixture of the boys' original tunes and several traditional songs, presents an age-old sonic landscape that draws from the mountains of Kentucky and combines it with a touch of modern drawl.
Renditions of songs like "Big Eyed Rabbit" and "Ain't it a Shame," are sure to keep grandpa interested, while also serving as a way for the boys to acknowledge proudly their musical roots. However, the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys are spit-shine bright on their originals. Things start to get cooking with "At Arms," a track that showcases singer JR's rich vocals and swift ways with his weeping fiddle. The boys seem to place you carefully around a campfire, listening to their detailed accounts of war.
The track is followed by another original, "Old Brown Mule," in which rambling banjo (played by Mason Dixon, who also configured the arrangements for each song), spastic fiddle, as well as the thumping upright bass of Leroy Jones, leave no room for vocals.
Til the End of Time strays off the beaten path with the closer "Mud Bug Blues," a swaying, field-holler, blues track. The boys are able to effectively mix the textures of their bluegrass style and instruments, while mashing it all together with a standard structure rooted deep in the Delta. Mandolin player Johnny Whippermule helps keep the track digging with his Duane Eddy-styled picking.
The Whiskey Bent Valley Boys were able to create a sonically tight album without losing the sincerity and character of their music. Til the End of Time is the culmination of the boys hundreds of live performances over the last couple years. With the help of Ben Townsend in Martinsburg, W.V., they were able to capture a new version of one of America's oldest genres.
Get more over atwhiskeybentvalley.com.