A DEEPER SHADE OF BLUE
BLUEGRASS TO THE BONE
To The Bone Records
Even though they’ve been playing since 1998 and have recorded four previous selfreleased recordings, A Deeper Shade Of Blue is probably an unfamiliar name. The band consists of guitarist Troy Pope, mandolinist Jason Fraley, banjoist Jimmy Fraley, resonator guitarist Frank Poindexter, and bassist Brian Hinson. Most of their gigs have been local to North and South Carolina, and until now, their recordings were not sent for review or airplay. Bluegrass To The Bone, therefore, is something of a debut.
For that debut, the band has chosen five covers of traditional bluegrass standards: “Sweetheart You’ve Done Me Wrong,” “I Wonder Where You Are Tonight,” “I’ll Stay Around,” “Where We’ll Never Grow Old,” and “Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar.” That may be a couple standards too many. “Sweetheart You’ve Done Me Wrong” with its high lonesome harmony, I would have kept, as I would also the wonderful “Where We’ll Never Grow Old” and the bluesy “Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar.” That would have been enough. The other two, while done well enough, are not given any new feel and don’t add much.
Rounding out the 13 tracks are four lesserknown covers and four band originals, of which two are instrumentals. “Are You Thankful,” written by Pope and Poindexter, is the best of these. A threequarter time gospel tune, it weds a nice melody with a positive message. Close on its heels is a jaunty cover of “I Believe In The Old Time Way.”
Bluegrass To The Bone is a pleasant recording, wellexecuted both instrumentally (particularly the mandolin of Fraley and the reso-guitar of Poindexter) and vocally (Pope’s tenor range leads) and offers no less than five tracks that are on the very good level. (Frank Poindexter, 4319 Stack Rd., Monroe NC 28112, www.deepershadeofblue.com.) BW