A tasty batch of songs by Andy & Lauren May
Americana pioneer Andy May combines acoustic/alternative country, bluegrass, folk, blues and rock influences with his trademark optimism touched with humor. Blackberry Jam also features Andy’s clean, lively production and some of Nashville’s best players.
Blackberry Jam is packed with a dozen original songs performed by Andy and a world-class acoustic band. The recipe features cuts with a traditional flavor and an innovative zip. The rip-roaring “Bound for Tennessee” and the contemporary bluegrass “They Put the Blue in Bluegrass” are tributes to legendary musicians of other eras, and the melody of the title song is based on the old fiddle tune, “Blackberry Blossom”. There is also a taste of acoustic rock (“I Think I’ll Move”), and contemporary folk (“My Dad”) in the mix.
There is plenty of food for thought here–as in the gentle, “Love’s the Greatest Gift of All” –as well as for the heart and ears. There is heartache in the country ballad, “I’ll Meet You in My Memory,” and bluesy wistfulness in “Cloudy, with a Chance of Pain”… balanced by a dollop of humor provided by the swampy “Stan.” The musicianship is delectable throughout. “Little Bird,” for example, features an ear-catching three-finger roll guitar style Andy began developing in the 1960s.
Produced by Andy May, Swift River Music
Andy May: lead vocals, acoustic guitars, mandolin
Jim Heffernan: Dobro, pedal steel, acoustic guitar, banjo
Kenny Malone: percussion
Dennis Crouch: bass
Rick Lee: piano, keyboards
Tim Crouch: fiddle
David Talbot: banjo
Larry Marrs: harmony vocals
Craig Fletcher: harmony vocals
Dedicated to the memory of:Herbert May: See, Pop? I sang your song. –Andy Sara McCain LeCroy: I’ll meet you in my memory. –Lauren Wynn Fay, the ol’ Ridgerunner –Andy
Master fiddler Randy Howard’s passing in 1999 was a major loss to country music. I had the greatest respect for his ability and his courage, and had been looking forward to having him play on this project. Sadly, that wasn’t to be. When it came time to lay down the tracks for this CD a few months after Randy’s death, I talked to Randy’s good friend and fiddlin’ partner, Tim Crouch, and he agreed to play on the session. Tim not only contributed his own considerable fiddling talent to the recording session, but—in honor of Randy—he played his parts on one of Randy’s favorite fiddles, which Randy had given to him.
Special Thanks To:
Jim Heffernan: For his arrangemental contributions and enthusiasm for this project from the very beginning.
Rick Lee: For the spark to get this project going and for all his support since ‘way back.
Engineered by Nathan Smith
Recorded and mixed at Mainframe Recording Studio, Nashville, TN, July-November, 1999
Mastered by Eric Wolf, Wolf Mastering, Nashville, TN
Cover photo by Lauren LeCroy May
Back Cover photo by Patricia Presley