Album Review of
Acoustic Lullaby

Written by Joe Ross
July 13, 2022 - 11:25pm EDT
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I wasn’t sure quite what to expect when I saw the track listing for this duo project from guitarist/banjo-player Tony Wray and fiddler/mandolinist Tim Crouch. What fun they must’ve had recording instrumental tunes like “Brahm’s Lullaby,”  “Hush Little Baby,” “Greensleeves,” “London Bridge is Falling Down,” “Three Blind Mice,” “Frere Jacques” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”  The duo’s goal was to create a set of soothing, calming and relaxing music for all ages. The seed for Acoustic Lullaby was planted when Pinecastle record label owner Lonnie Lassiter and CEO Ethan Burkhardt both had babies around the same time. After countless hours streaming lullabies on-line, they decided to create an album of laid-back acoustic tracks. Like smooth jazz, this album succeeds with its chill acoustic music for very easy listening, akin to contemplative holiday fare. The only problem I noticed is that the track listing on the album cover doesn’t exactly correlate with the tracks on the disc. Other than that, all ages will surely find solace in this record, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it first thing in the morning if you’re trying to wake up and get motivated to do an hour’s worth of house-cleaning.

Both Wray and Crouch have many years of experience as studio musicians in various genres and with many artists.  Wray has produced music for Rodney Dillard, Dan Tyminski and others. In 1999, Tony moved to Nashville to work for the Gibson Instrument company as their banjo supervisor. From 2004 to 2011, he assembled and set up every Gibson banjo released into the market. As a freelance musician, he’s worked with the veritable who’s who in bluegrass music and many notable country performers. For seven years his steady gig was with Opry member Mike Snider, and he continues to make regular Opry appearances. He also created the band, Blue Mafia, and toured with Dan Tyminski. Tony Wray is also helping to create content for social media in a new series called “Ask the Haberdashery” that gives people an opportunity to ask questions about any topic ranging from playing guitar or banjo, to instrument set-up and recording. One punchline for the series is, “If he doesn’t know the answer – no one does!”

Renowned multi-instrumentalist Tim Crouch has a great deal of experience on both the stage in the studio, always bringing his expert chops just right into the mix and arrangements. Currently living in Strawberry, Arkansas, Tim is a five-time winner of the Arkansas State Fiddlers Championship and two-time winner of the National Championship. Crouch first performed on the Grand Ole Opry (with Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys) when he was just 19 years old. The stellar musician is always willing to lend a hand to others, and I even hear some of his cello work on this album.

Wray and Crouch’s Acoustic Lullaby album also includes a beautiful composition from Wray called “Sandman’s Flight” that features some of his radiant banjo work. All songs arranged by Wray, they also include a yule-time favorite, “Silent Night” and Gospel offering, “Jesus Loves Me.” For a very mellow set of effervescent music from two seasoned professionals, Acoustic Lullaby is just the ticket. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)