This review is one hitting home since its roots began right here in Columbus OH. Amanda Lynn “Mandy” Adkins was born in Columbus OH and in 2000, at the tender age of 22, left life as we know it following a courageous battle with brain cancer. Her father, Darrel Adkins, with the affiliations of Adkins Productions and The Bluegrass Classic set up a charity for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memory of Amanda. The 25+ yearly event held in Central Ohio and formerly known as “The Bluegrass Classic” (which I have attended in years past) became known as “Musicians Against Childhood Cancer” (MACC) and all proceeds benefit St. Jude’s. To date, from the inception of the charity the MACC has raised $590,274 to help the cause of childhood cancer.
This album, “Life Goes On” is the combined effort of many, many Bluegrass artists including but not limited to “The Grascals”, “Lonesome River Band”, “The SteelDrivers” and the “Gibson Brothers”. There are 39 songs on this album with as many artists donating their time and talent for this great cause.
The title single, “Life Goes On” (Jerry Salley, Carl Jackson, Ronnie Bowman, Ricky Wasson and Larry Cordle) is about memories and life after losing loved ones. It’s a tender ballad about the loss of Grandpa, Mom, and his daughter and child (hit by a drunk driver). The song is strong in faith and love as “Life goes on and keeps rolling on. Memories grow stronger every day – no they don’t fade away”. The video is on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNdsrn3RVt0&feature=share.
“Old Violin” (Larry Cordle and Michael Cleveland) is a classic many of us know as a hit by Johnny Paycheck. It’s also a balled and deals with facing the truth in one's life and not being able to change it in the slightest way. It’s about looking in the mirror and facing oneself and wondering where to go from there and feeling like an old violin about to be put on a shelf.
“Struttin’ to Ferrum” is performed by the Lonesome River Band and is classic Bluegrass pickin’ and grinnin’! It is strictly instrumental, upbeat and toe-tappin’ – those banjos will move you right out of the chair and you might possibly break out in a little clogging!
“Hard Times” by The Grascals is a working song about bosses, jobs and hard times knocking on the door. This tune is filled with lots of banjo and excellent Bluegrass vocals and is completely upbeat despite the title! If you love banjos and fiddles this is one exciting CD for you!
This 2-CD set has 39 songs and sells for about $12.93 on Amazon and is an excellent CD for Bluegrass lovers. The information on the charity and purchasing the CD can be found at http://www.bluegrassclassic.com/ where you can also find information on the next show at Hoover Y Park in central Ohio (July 18-21, 2012) and additional information on St. Jude’s can be located at www.stjude.org.
Calamity Annie, CMTT Music Contributor
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