Silver Spring, MD -- Local singer/songwriter/recording artist Dave Sharp has released a new CD, Rural Roots, on Odessa Records. The genre is best classified as “Americana” in the tradition of The Band, the Nitty Gritty Dirty Band, and the early Eagles. Songs on the album are a combination of bluegrass, country, rockabilly, 60s rock, and blues. Sharp is joined on five tracks by renowned fiddle/mandolin player, Rickie Simpkins, who tours and records with Emmylou Harris, the Tony Rice Unit, and several other bluegrass bands. Simpkins also helped a great deal with final mixing of the bluegrass tunes. Additional musical support is provided by keyboardist/singer, Jon Carroll, founding member of the Starland Vocal Band in the 70s, who currently tours and records with Mary Chapin Carpenter and other nationally known artists. The album contains two originals and 12 covers. Sharp plays all guitars, organ/keyboards, and harmonica on the CD.
Sharp’s two original contributions, “The Day the Roof Fell In” and “Birthplace of Rivers”, are both presented as progressive bluegrass songs, and both feature Rickie Simpkins on fiddle and mandolin supporting Sharp’s vocal and acoustic guitar playing. Bill Hensley plays banjo on both tunes. Sharp also covers several songs popularized by dominate 50s and 60s artists of various musical genres including Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Dave Clark 5, Byrds, Rolling Stones, plus one well-known Hank Williams country tune: “Lost Highway”.
Lyrics to Sharp’s upbeat original bluegrass tune, “The Day the Roof Fell In”, evoke images of a country band that performed at the now defunct “Pot ‘n’ Kettle Club” near Culpeper, Virginia, when Sharp was younger and a member of “The Blue Ridge Travelers” (aka, “The Country Travelers). The lyrics also pay homage to late band leader, Roy Legge, who sang lead and played rhythm guitar and fiddle with the same band.
Another Sharp original, “Birthplace of Rivers”, is a slower paced progressive bluegrass tune about Pocahontas County, West Virginia, where Sharp’s father was born. The lyrics weave the Sharp surname with major historical events including the French and Indian War, the American Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the notorious General George Armstrong Custer, under whom Sharp’s great grandfather served as a Union soldier during the Civil War.
Other musicians on the album include Tom Noone on drums, Scott Harlan on bass, Bill Hensley on banjo, and Josh Howell on conga drums/percussion. The album was recorded at Golden Sound Studio in Kensington, Maryland.
Sharp performs locally as “The Dave Sharp Duo/Trio,” where he plays acoustic guitar and mandolin, supported by bassist Paul Englar and other musicians. Sharp also plays lead/rhythm guitar and keyboards in Towson-based classic rock band, “Gottcha Covered”, who perform a few tunes from the CD.
Rural Roots can be purchased online from “CD Baby” at the following link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/davesharp2 Rural Roots is Sharp’s fourth album on Odessa Records. Previous albums include Rock and Soul Music, Dave Sharp and Friends (2008); Step Outside of the Darkness, Dave Sharp and Enemies of the People (1994); and Clinging to the Truth – Tribute to JFK, Dave Sharp (1993).