Free Willy: Remember the Alamo

Free Willy
Remember the Alamo
(Buddha Belly Records)

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Kevin Carter’s fiddle and mandolin lead a quick county instrumental backing the solid harmony vocals of “Amazing Gracie,” the opener here. Giving a nod to the classic “Amazing Grace” with a little torn-heart love ditty mixed in, this is a great fun way to begin what ends up being a wonderful bluegrass, and slightly alternative country release from Free Willy.

What sounds like a “plicking” quick banjo runs under “God Has A Name,” a tune about the wonders of colors in our world. Once again Carter slices under W.B. Jones’ lead vocals expertly.

Carter’s fiddle is out front, while the boys (including Jim Taylor on bass and back-up vocals, and Spence Peppard on backing vocals, lead guitar, and drums) create a lush backing, and an overall solid sound. It’s not until we get to the 8th tune that things slow down to a sweet ballad about the narrator’s marriage day. The mix of vocals here is perfect and Carter sails above everything to create quite a nice change of pace. “Sugar Bay” follows, where we get Peppard trading soft clean licks with Carter in a fine instrumental.

The title track is another ballad. Peppard manages some great acoustic leads, and the ender, “American Medly: The Star Spangled Banner/ America the Beautiful” takes from these patriotic tunes, and adds a mix of vocals with Cater wailing across it all.

There’s good playing, singing, and song-crafting here on Free Willy’s Remember The Alamo even if the tunes do pretty much all sound the same.

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