Album Review of
Chapter 3

Written by Joe Ross
July 26, 2019 - 7:08pm EDT
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Both Doyle Lawson and Paul Williams have been very prolific with dozens of album releases in the last few decades. Lawson fronts his own bluegrass group, Quicksilver. Williams released many on the Rebel record label with his Victory Trio. “Chapter 3” is a 2017 release and the third product that Lawson & Williams recorded together for the Mountain Home label. The first two in this series also featured J.D. Crowe (“Old Friends Get Together” in 2010; and “Standing Tall and Tough” in 2014). “Chapter 3” enlists the help of Joe Mullin (banjo), Josh Swift (resophonic guitar), Stephen Burwell (fiddle), Tim Surrett (bass) and David Johnson (pedal steel). Each and every release by these guys gets very high marks, and this album is no exception. Their material’s about equally split between sacred and secular and emphasize a brotherly sound of lead and tenor vocals (some also including Josh Swift’s baritone harmony). In fact, the guys cover songs from The Delmore Brothers (“I’m Sorry I Caused You To Cry”), The Bailes Brothers (“I Want To Be Loved, But Only By You”) and The Louvin Brothers (“I Feel Better Now”).  The arrangements mostly emphasize Williams' clarion lead or tenor voice and masterful instrumental breaks by their accompanists. Williams’ mandolin chops feature solid rhythm and fills over showy licks. A renown mandolinist in his own right, Doyle Lawson sings lead and plays rhythm guitar. An excellent songwriter, Williams contributes three originals to the set (credited to him under his real name, Paul M. Humphrey). Pedal steel player David Johnson imparts an old-timey classic country feel to a song like James O’Gwynn’s “Talk To Me Old Lonesome Heart.” All in all, it’s another very well thought out set of soulful, heartfelt music that features a couple guys who have built large fanbases for their tight, distinctive classic sounds and professionalism.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)