In The Jailhouse Now — Family Bible — 14 Carat Mind — How Would You Live — 30,Pieces of Silver — Deeper Than The Holler — Those Memories of You — Pray For the Boys — I Sang Dixie — Farmers Blues — The Old Rugged Cross — Wings Of A Dove
Well, here’s the ‘truth’ of it. We have another ‘champion’ for real traditional and classic country music, and he makes his home in Des Moines, of all places. Twenty-three year old Ben McClure has exactly what it takes to make this musical genre ‘stay around a lot longer.’ Ben’s true musical talent is in his fiddle. This is the instrument that has propelled him to the position he now holds, however, his voice is the ‘selling point’ that makes this, his first recording, an absolutely beautiful and wonderful testimony to what ‘real’ country music is all about. Thank goodness he had the ‘ear’ and the ‘gear’ of Paul and Betty Fay to help him through this ‘first-time’ recording experience. It’s absolutely amazing to hear this young man do it so beautiful, so wonderful, so ‘real.’ He starts with a better than the ‘Brother’ version of “In The Jailhouse Now” with a yodel that just knocked my socks off. He yodels again in “Farmer’s Blues.” There’s a Dobro in “Jailhouse” that also knocked my socks off. Now I’m barefoot listening to the rest of this incredible recording. By the time I got to “How Would You Live” I wasn’t ready for the next incredible addition to an already number one recording. The ‘harmony’ singing behind his very country and very vivid, and very authentic, country voice is absolutely magnificent. I haven’t heard it this good since I was evaluating CD’s some 25 years ago. There is some excellent ‘mix’ going on during this recording session. Ben plays most of the instruments, and of course it’s his fiddle that carries the ‘real country’ sound, but his ability on mandolin, banjo, and I believe he must have been on the Dobro on the beginning song, but credits do not say this, and we also hear him on acoustic guitar that stands out like a beacon in the night. He’s also not ashamed to sing some gospel music devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ. Nashville so-called country singers don’t do this anymore, but Ben McClure is not a coward, he is a new light burning brightly showing all of us where ‘truth’ does persist, and it certainly does that in this incredible CD. Ben lets the banjo speak for itself on “Those Memories of You.” Oh yeah! And I also like the versatility of Ben’s voice too. He isn’t afraid to get to a comfortable key to sing in, and does it well. There’s a ‘steel guitar’ in “I Sang Dixie” OR IS THAT a steel guitar? It’s not listed as a participating instrument, whatever it is, it’s absolutely convincing. Ben is not afraid to use “devotion’ in his voice either, and does it well on “The Old Rugged Cross.” Good harmony there too. Ben closes with “Wings of a Dove” and we can hear some female voices in the harmony. How much better can it get? I’m ready for the next one. Ben brought 50 CD’s to his record release party at the Oak Tree in Anita, and went home with none.