Album Review of
Barry Abernathy and Friends

Written by Joe Ross
March 10, 2021 - 2:05am EST
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Barry Abernathy is a top-flight bluegrass musician who did stints with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and IIIrd Tyme Out before becoming a founding member of Mountain Heart in 1998. He left that band in 2014 to strike out on his own, and in 2018 he teamed up with Darrell Webb to form Appalachian Road Show. Several years ago, Abernathy was faced with a need for neck surgery to repair nerve damage in his neck. Warned about a risk of damage to his vocal cords, he wanted to record an album for posterity that featured his singing, and the idea for this album was conceived.

For his illustrious instrumental accompanists, Abernathy invited friends Jim VanCleve, Sam Bush, Doyle Lawson, Bryan Sutton, Ron Stewart, Jason Moore and Rob Ickes. It’s an all-star cast of bluegrass elite. Singing harmony with Abernathy are Jim VanCleve and an assortment of luminaries, including Vince Gill, Shawn Lane, Rhonda Vincent, Dan Tyminski, Doyle Lawson, Josh Swift, and the late Steve Gulley. While Abernathy’s vocals are the center of attention, we also hear engaging songs like “Birmingham Jail,” “Back in ’29,” “One Leg at a Time,” “Unwanted Love,” “You’ll Never Be Mine,” and “Lost John” presented with instrumental prowess, impressive harmonies and emotional electricity. You can tell that there was plenty of good chemistry in the studio to result in this inspiring bluegrass music.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)