MP3 — Dale Ann Bradley releases Don’t Turn Your Back

MP3 Dale Ann Bradley – Don’t Turn Your Back

It’s 9  a.m. on a rainy January day in Nashville, five  days into 2009.  Dale Ann Bradley is coming  up the studio steps without a raincoat, carrying  a guitar and a folder full of lyrics.   She’s been on the road for 14 straight days,  it’s 25 degrees and pouring, but never mind all  that.  She’s been shaping the concept of  her new project, the follow-up to her Compass  Records debut Catch Tomorrow, for  months, and she can’t wait to kick off the first  song. She’s let her heart guide her way through  stacks of songs, looking for those that capture  something beyond great music, something that  gives voice to what she’s been living and  breathing in her own life for the last year.  

So take a seat around the coffee table  at the Compass Sound Studio–where Dale Ann  Bradley sits with an old D-28 and producer and  banjoist Alison Brown puts her gentle mark of  genius on arrangements–and let Dale Ann tell  you about Don’t Turn Your Back in her  own words: “It needs to be more than a record,”  she’s says. “This is my dream album. I want it  to inspire people to hang in with whatever  they’re facing–to find the hope and inspiration  to keep going. I want to share the music that’s  touched me and I want to put everything into it  that has been given to me over the past  year.”

This is Dale Ann Bradley. She’s  the 2007 & 2008 IBMA Female Vocalist of the  Year and has been hailed by Alison Krauss and  Ricky Skaggs as one of the greatest vocalists in  country and bluegrass music. A former Coon Creek  Girl and mainstay at Kentucky’s Renfro Valley  Barn Dance, Bradley commands a list of awards as  long as Highway 40, yet a few minutes with her  tells you she is something even more than  extraordinarily gifted–she’s extraordinarily  human. A Primitive Baptist preacher’s daughter  out of the hills of Kentucky where no musical  instruments were allowed, Bradley grew up in a  self-described “backwoods holler” down a rural  road where electricity and running water weren’t  available until she was in high  school–something she has more in common with  the first generation of bluegrass than her  contemporaries in today’s scene.

Dale  Ann Bradley is nothing if not a great  storyteller, but her ability to step into  someone else’s shoes and make their story her  own for a few minutes, that is what allows every  note sung and played on Don’t Turn Your  Back to be believable. In the company of  some of best bluegrass pickers and singers  including Stuart Duncan (fiddle/banjo), Deanie  Richardson (fiddle), Alison Brown (banjo), Gena  Britt (banjo), Steve Gulley (vocals), and Mike  Bub (bass), Bradley explores Don’t Turn Your  Back’s undeniable themes of bravery and  hope through the eyes of mothers, lovers,  trains, and one shiny, soon-to-be-lucky penny.  

Staying true to her  daughter-of-a-preacher roots, Don’t Turn  Your Back includes three bluegrass gospel  numbers: the humorous “Rusty Old Halo”, The  Carter Family’s “Fifty Miles of Elbow  Room”,  and the traditional “Heaven”, which  features reigning IBMA Entertainers of the Year  Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent. Sharing her  love of classic rock and its influence on her  music and voice, Bradley includes bluegrass  versions of Fleetwood Mac’s “Over My Head”and  Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”, yet stays close  to tradition with the Kentucky mountain ballad  “Blue Eyed Boy”. Courage is the silver thread  running through all twelve tracks of Don’t  Turn Your Back, and it is in these songs  that Bradley lays out all she’s got: “Anybody  Else’s Heart But Mine” teaches us how to push  through a broken heart, “Will I Be Good Enough”  (Branscomb, Claire Lynch on guest vocals)  whispers hope to uncertain parents, and “Music  City Queen” (Bradley/Branscomb) documents the  dauntlessness of those who come to Nashville  seeking stardom. The title track calls for  giving life’s highway one more  chance.

Dale Ann Bradley’s mountain  soprano has been called “shimmering” (The  Washington Post)

3 Responses to “MP3 — Dale Ann Bradley releases Don’t Turn Your Back”

  1. [...] Download an mp3 of Dale Ann Bradley’s “Don’t Turn Your Back” from her new al… [...]

  2. [...] Download an mp3 of Dale Ann Bradley’s “Don’t Turn Your Back” from her new al… [...]

  3. Thanks! You have a pretty good blog yourself

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