Walking Down the Line
Nashville (May 20, 2007) - James Alan Shelton, the veteran lead guitarist for Ralph Stanley's Grammy-winning Clinch Mountain Boys band, will debut Walking Down The Line, his ninth solo album May 22. Walking Down The Line, on Sheltone Records, is a collection of folk, bluegrass, and country classics that finds Shelton mixing it up with some of most renowned musicians in the business. Included in this all-star lineup are bassist Barry Bales of Alison Krauss's Union Station band and mandolinist Adam Steffey, a Union Station alumnus now with Mountain Heart; acclaimed gospel and bluegrass vocalist Judy Marshall; banjo wizard Steve Sparkman and fiddler Dewey Brown, both of the Clinch Mountain Boys; rhythm guitarist and mandolin-maker Audey Ratliff; and traditional-style banjoist Daniel Grindstaff, of Jesse McReynolds' Virginia Boys. It is a pickers Paradise. "I've chosen songs that represent a specific place and time in my own development as a musician," Shelton explains. "I feel that good music is good music whatever the source." Shelton's choices and executions are dazzling. The album's title song is a Bob Dylan composition that has become much beloved in bluegrass circles. Then there are the hallowed folk tunes and parlor ballads that everybody knows (by sound if not always by title)-"Soldier's Joy," "Fair And Tender Ladies," "Salt Creek" and "My Grandfather's Clock." Here also is Stephen Foster's wistful mid-19th century lament, "Hard Times Come Again No More." Shelton dips into the Carter Family, Bill Monroe and Roy Acuff archives, respectively, for "Motherless Children," "Methodist Preacher" and "Fireball Mail." Moving forward on the calendar, he covers Roger Miller's tenderly paternal "Old Toy Trains"; "Nashville Blues," from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's epochal Will The Circle Be Unbroken album; and Simon & Garfunkel's majestically forlorn "Sounds Of Silence." Rounding out this treasury is the Tony Ellis homage, "Stephen," on which Shelton plays both lead guitar and banjo. In this age of rapid fire machine gun-like guitar players, Shelton's melody oriented style of playing is a breath of fresh air. Enhancing the value of this album are the Shelton-penned liner notes, which describe the backgrounds of the songs and players in rich and personal detail. Norma Morris Morris Public Relations P. O. Box 210588 Nashville, TN 37221-0588 Phone: 615-952-9250 Email: norma@morrispr.Biz.