Pam and Dale Ann Co-Wrote the title Track from her 2012 Album and its nominated for the IBMA’s Song of the Year Award!
Don’t be fooled by the mandolin and banjo: she might deny it, but Dale Ann Bradley left bluegrass behind long ago. What she’s making now is a really quite modern version of acoustic country music, one that partakes happily of the instrumental textures and some of the sonic clichés of bluegrass, but uses them in the context of much more complex chord changes, singer/songwritery lyrical concerns, and songs that are centered on hooks that George Strait would kill for.
“Summer Breeze” is actually a Seals & Crofts number — and unfortunately, not even someone with Dale Ann Bradley’s pipes is able to save it from the 1970s folk-schlock pit in which that song had quietly lain for so long.
However, shortly after that misstep she demonstrates her continued ability to deliver a hard-driving, high-and-lonesome bluegrass classic by absolutely crushing the Bill Monroe standard “In Despair.” (Kudos to mandolinist David Long, whose brief solo on that track is a sweet and pure tribute to Monroe.)
A few other songs tread close to the traditional bluegrass line as well, particularly the excellent “Next to Nothing” and “New Shoes.” The title track was co-written with country star Pam Tillis, and it’s a wry and affecting plea for escape from the drudgery of office life to the open road and a sunny destination — yet another example of Bradley’s ability to take standard country tropes and imbue them with subtle but fresh new ideas.
By Rick Anderson