consistency, bluegrass, gospel and Doyle

Hallelujah in My Heart (Brentwood Bluegrass)

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

By John Goodin

All too often in the music business, the "next big thing" gets all the attention while musicians who consistently do work of the highest quality are taken for granted. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver deserve better than that.

Their new release, Hallelujah in My Heart, is the latest in a long line of superb bluegrass recordings. Everything is here in spades: great playing, angelic singing and a fine set of well-written songs.

Folks who would never choose to audition a bluegrass record dedicated to "the Almighty God for His Goodness, Mercy and Divine Wisdom" can learn a surprising amount here. Hallelujah in My Heart is a textbook in arranging and programming an album. Almost every song has a memorable riff, melody, chord change or subtle effect achieved in the vocal arrangement.

The title song, written by Carlene Carter and Howie Epstein, has a great riff. The closer, "On the Other Side," closes the set on a real "up" note. The highlight for me, however, is a stunning a cappella rendition of Thomas A. Dorsey's "Someday, Somewhere." Lawson and his band joyfully turn the song into a blues chant at once both soulful and serene. This piece of quality work from one of the bluegrass masters is worth looking for.