David Royko Psy.D

david@davidroyko.com

Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, 2004

CD review, by David Royko

THE JEANETTE WILLIAMS BAND
GET IN THE BOAT
Bell Buckle Records BB 014


Warm. That’s the first word that came to mind when this bluegrass gospel disc began, and it remained the feeling right on through. Lead singer/bassist Jeanette Williams is a great bluegrass singer, capable of belting it out with the best of them, but it is her soulful, heart-on-the-sleeve directness that grabs the ear. Even when pushing an exciting burner such as “Are You Trusting in Sweet Jesus,” she remains relaxed, and somehow comforting.

Williams’ band--Johnny Williams (vocals, guitar), Martha Bowman (vocals, banjo, mandolin), Stephen Fraleigh (vocals, fiddle)--are a fine tuned unit, playing with spirit and sensitivity, and they have plenty of rich material in which to sink their chops. The range of new songs (Tom T. & Dixie Hall wrote the title cut), of both traditional and contemporary flavors, should make this an easy winner for gospel fans. (Bell Buckle Records, P.O. Box 298, Bell Buckle, TN 37020. bellbucklerecords.com) DR