The Joy of Fiddlin'

Fiddle Man(Independent)

Steve Day

By Bob Mitchell

Each year I am pleased and surprised at the increasing number and quality of Bluegrass musicians. I am not sure where they come from, but one of them has been rambling around Kentucky for years. Steve Day first came to my attention in 1992 with the release of his excellent Fiddlin' On Music Row. Not long ago, he was a driving force with Gary Brewer and The Kentucky Ramblers. Today, he is putting his talented fingers to work with Continental Divide. Day's recent project is another extraordinary recording sure to satisfy the discriminating Bluegrass ear. The liner notes describe his studio experience as a "blast" and one listen will prove it true.

In addition to Day's sensitive fiddle work, several tunes provide a fine showcase for his vocal talents: "We Were Made For Each Other," and "Won't You Kiss Me One More Time." Steve's cover of Glenn Campbell's "Less of Me" is a timely message in an age where we are surrounded by greed and violence. The song suggests an obvious fact: the world would be a better place if everyone assumed responsibility for their behavior and thought more of others and less of themselves.

Day surrounds himself with outstanding players. One of his personal musical heroes, Glenn Duncan, provides exciting harmony fiddle on "Come Back To Me In My Dreams," and "Won't You Kiss Me One More Time." Larry Stephenson lends his incomparable tenor vocal to "Lonesome Without You," "We Were Made For Each Other" and "Won't You Kiss Me One More Time." The astounding mandolin talents of Ronnie McCoury graces "Fire On the Mountain" and "The Old Brown County Barn Jamboree," then everyone shifts into high gear on "Gold Rush."

Throughout this release David Parmely's guitar work is flawless, and he does some fabulous picking on "Gold Rush." Elmer Burchett's banjo is bold and enthusiastic but no more so than in "Lonesome Without You." The bass line from Mike Anglin is polished and bright. He really shines as he slaps it in "Come Back To Me In My Dreams," and others. Danny Barnes's mandolin is brisk and crisp especially in "Come Back To Me In My Dreams."

To summarize, Steve Day knows the craft of fiddlin', and, as you can hear in Fiddle Man, we are better off for it!