Review: Dale Ann Bradley - Somewhere South Of Crazy

One could imagine that when bluegrass music legend Dale Ann Bradley sings, God himself smiles in heaven above. This may sound like lavish praise, but it only does if you have never heard the golden voiced singer who was named IBMA "female vocalist of the year" three years in a row (2007 - 2009). Now, you'll find Dale Ann Bradley in a place "Somewhere South Of Crazy,"  and it's one loony bin you'll never, ever want to leave
The album begins with the title track "Somewhere South Of Crazy." As usual with Compass Records' projects, the production is top-notch, and the song is a mid-tempo feast for the ears. Likewise, Bradley's voice has aged perfectly, and the artist has never sounded better.

"Round And Round" is a bluegrass/country track with superb instrumentation, and the artistic interpretation of "Summer Breeze" will leave bluegrass fans reveling in musical pleasure. However, the biggest surprise of the album is the sincere "Come Home Good Boy," which is a story in song about a mother who has to let go of her son who is leaving for war in the armed forces. Words cannot describe the authenticity in which Dale Ann Bradley sings on "Come Home Good Boy" which deserves widespread fan and critical respect.

The pace quickens on the ironically titled "In Despair" - if despair sounds this good, everyone will definitely want to get some. The love song "Restoring The Love" is a radio-ready country cut that deserves to be a #1 hit for Dale Ann Bradley and Steve Gulley who shares lead vocals. This is the stuff that Grammy award-winning duets are made of.

The upbeat "New Shoes" is the kind of track where Bradley's star shines most. The instrumentation brings a smile to the face, and Bradley's vocals are pitch-perfect. The award for toe-tapping goes to "Next To Nothing" which will leave any Dale Ann Bradley concertgoer twirling in the aisles.

The album ends with beautiful "Will You Visit Me On Sundays" and the quiet, gospel-tinged "I Pressed Through The Crowd," which showcases Dale Ann Bradley the storyteller. On the CD, live bonus cut "Old Southern Porches" rounds out the 13 track project and allows Bradley to tell one last story to great effect.

Bluegrass fans can rejoice, because Dale Ann Bradley is back. As the announcer in the final moment of the bonus cut says: "If that don't turn you on, you ain't got no switches." Couldn't put it better myself.

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