Galyean & Cullen’s Bridge – Songs From The Blue Ridge

by | 18 Nov, 2018

Mickey Galyean

Mickey GalyeanRebel Records has announced the release of Mickey Galyean & Cullen’s Bridge’s second Rebel recording, Songs From The Blue Ridge. Hot on the heels of their Rebel debut My Daddy’s Grass – which topped Bluegrass Unlimited’s National Survey Chart. Songs From The Blue Ridge gives every indication of being a radio/fan favourite.

The album has received high-praise from a number of publications including music blog Fervor Coulee, which calls Songs From The Blue Ridge “an intriguing, lasting bluegrass recording.”

Unapologetic bluegrass is what Mickey Galyean & Cullen’s Bridge deliver. Pounding rhythms, searing vocals, strong melodies and just the right mix of deft originals and ripened treasures; that’s the formula that works for this group. Emanating from the bluegrass heartland between Galax, Virginia, and Mt. Airy, North Carolina – Round Peak to “those in the know” – they are bearers of a tradition that has thrived there for generations.

Band leader Mickey Galyean grew up in bluegrass. His late father Cullen (hence the name, Cullen’s Bridge) was a lifelong picker. The band’s name is a perpetual tribute to him as well as a statement on its musical philosophy. Mickey is a strong singer who sports a driving rhythm guitar; he sets the tone for the band. Holding forth on banjo is Rick Pardue, a North Carolinian with a penchant for songwriting; he had the 2012 IBMA Song of the Year and is a past winner of the MerleFest/Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Bass player Brad Hiatt sets the tempo the band’s performances; his instrument of choice once belonged to famed Flatt & Scruggs picker Cousin Jake Tullock. Billy Hawks adds soulful melodies with his flowing fiddle; he’s logged time with Doyle Lawson and Rebel artists Big Country Bluegrass and Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice.

The disc is evenly divided between band originals and bluegrass fare. Dixieland For Me first saw the light of day in the middle 1960s on a bluegrass album by George Jones and Melba Montgomery. The Country Gentlemen had recordings of The Convict and the Rose and Wear a Red Rose. Larry Sparks made popular Harold Russell’s These Old Prison Bars nearly 50 years ago. Of more recent vintage is Dudley Connell’s (Seldom Scene/ex-Johnson Mountain Boy) Too Late to Say Goodbye.

The pleading Now I’m Losing You was penned by Mickey, who also offers a thoughtful reworking to a song recorded in the 1960s by the Stanley Brothers, Drunkard’s Dream. Cullen Galyean’s The Blue Ridge Mountains is an autobiographical account of his life in the hills. Pardue takes a strong stand about the purity of his music with No Candy in My Bluegrass. Hawks’ Outback is an original fiddle tune that sounds like one you’ve heard all your life – it’s that good. Despite the pensive sound of its title, Hiatt’s She’s Gone is barn-burning up-tempo bluegrass. As with all good bluegrass albums, you need a gospel song; Pardue’s You Can Go to Heaven, complete with the assurance that “You don’t have to have a PhD… heaven is waiting for the ones who believe,” fills the bill.

Mickey Galyean & Cullen’s Bridge have produced an outstanding album that will delight young and old fans of mountain music alike.

Click here to stream, download or buy Songs From The Blue Ridge.

Track List:

1. Dixieland For Me
2. The Convict and the Rose
3. No Candy in My Bluegrass
4. Now I’m Losing You
5. Outback
6. Too Late to Say Goodbye
7. These Old Prison Bars
8. Wear a Red Rose
9. The Drunkard’s Dream
10. The Blue Ridge Mountains
11. She’s Gone
12. You Can Go to Heaven

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