Joe LaMay & Sherri Reese,
(What the Woof, 2000)

A CD that has all the elements for a good bluegrass band, Maryville by Joe LaMay and Sherri Reese has 14 tracks about death, dying, love, war and booze. Seven of the 14 songs were written by LaMay and Reese, including the title track. This duo from western New York proves that Nashville isn't the only place to find good bluegrass music.

Reese's voice lends very well to the style of music she sings and, throughout the CD, LaMay's and Reese's voices are the focus of the songs. The instrumentation complements their voices rather than drowning them out.

The CD opens with a traditional tune, "Katie Dear." From there LaMay and Reese weave their own songs among tunes written by other artists, including Bob Dylan's "Wallflower." "Copper Kettle," by Albert F. Beddoe, gives musical insight to increasing one's income. The CD ends with a pair of original pieces, "Where Do the Butterflies Dance?" by Reese and "The Seeds They Sowed" by LaMay.

Another popular western New York duo, the Dady Brothers, offers its talents on various instruments. Joe Dady's fiddle playing truly enhances the musical pleasure of the album.

Maryville will have you laughing, crying and singing along as LaMay and Reese -- who have since become the nexus of the Genesee Rose String Band -- wander through the themes so common to bluegrass music.

- Rambles
written by Sherrill Fulghum
published 15 November 2003

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