|It’s one thing for an artist to feel like his latest musical endeavor is his best, but when you’re a music veteran with a mile-long resume, decades of recording and performing experience, critical acclaim, and more recordings than one can count, it’s quite a statement to say, “This is my favorite record I’ve ever done.”Such is the case with bluegrass star Richard Bennett of his new release, In the Wind Somewhere, via Kentucky-based Lonesome Day Records. “It just feels good,” says Bennett of his fifth solo release.
Lonesome Day Records owner Randall Deaton couldn’t agree more. “I think this is Richard’s strongest work of his career,” says Deaton. “And it was recorded in an old fashioned way where all four of the musicians sat in the same room with no headphones and just played music. Each take had to be just right because there was no going back and fixing.”
On In the Wind Somewhere, Bennett skillfully mixes his considerable traditional bluegrass, chops with songs that expand and transcend the genre in an exciting contemporary fashion. “I want to let the people hear something new,” he says.
Joining the singer/songwriter/guitarist on In the Wind Somewhere are a group of stellar musicians, including Mark Schatz (Nickel Creek, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt), IMBA Mandolin Player of the Year Adam Steffey, celebrated fiddler Ron Stewart, and Sean Lane of the Grammy-nominated band Blue Highway on tenor vocals. The record was recorded at the Lonesome Day Studio Booneville, Kentucky, and mixed by Grammy Award winning engineer Brandon Bell.
|The album features a graceful and affecting take on Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” a jazz-inflected solo instrumental version of the Beatles’ “Yesterday,” and a spry and swinging Appalachian mountain-flavored cover of the Marshall Tucker Band song “Fire on the Mountain.” On his version of Tom Paxton’s folk classic “The Last Thing on My Mind,” his long-time pal and acoustic guitar icon, Tony Rice, enriched Bennett’s luminous double flat-picking.
|Elsewhere on the album, Bennett epitomizes the soul of old-school bluegrass on “Stronger Every Day,” harks back to the Celtic folk roots of American country, folk and mountain music on “Georgie,” renews the newgrass revolution of the 1970s on a take of folk music heroine Kate Wolf’s “Across the Great Divide,” and musically summons up the swirling forces of nature on his self-penned opening title track. The album is deliciously capped by a sublime reading of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe’s landmark song “Wayfaring Stranger” on which Bennett and Rice engage in breathtaking guitar interplay (as they also do on the hidden track that follows, “Home Sweet Home”).