Columbus, NC -- Wildfire frontman Robert Hale has released his first solo album, Pure and Simple, on Pinecastle Records. For the recording sessions, Hale called on his old bandmates from Livewire, Scott Vestal on banjo, Wayne Benson on mandolin, and Ernie Sykes on bass. Joining them are Steve Thomas on fiddle, Randy Kohrs on dobro, along with Shawn Lane and Alecia Nugent on harmony vocals.
Hale's song selection is a direct reflection of the music that has influenced him most through the years. The group pays homage to Lynyrd Skynard with “Pure and Simple” and turn right around and knock out Reno and Smiley's “There's Another Baby Waiting For Me Down The Line”. The result is an exciting mix of bluegrass and country featuring four Robert Hale originals including the blazing instrumental, “Dirt Poor” and the country ballad, “You're Wrong”. Hale concludes the project with a grassed up version of Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" showcasing the instrumental prowess and versatility of the band.
Robert Hale was a longtime member of JD Crowe and The New South before teaming up with Curt Chapman and Phil Leadbetter in 2000 to form the band Wildfire, which has recorded three albums for Pinecastle Records. Hale has also recorded with Dolly Parton on Halos and Horns and For God and Country.
"The new album out by Robert Hale, Pure & Simple is exciting and fresh bluegrass music that reaches into traditional country and beyond. From the folk favorite "Did She Mention My Name?" to "Sir Duke", the listener is in for good time listening to Hale's latest project." - Bob Cherry, Cybergrass
"Pure & Simple from Robert Hale is not bluegrass, but bluegrass fans will love it...not country, but country fans will love it...kinda like folks have always been about his old boss, J.D. Crowe. Taking on Sir Duke is brave, and cool!" - John Roten, WPEK/WMXF Mountain Music Time
"I was particularly excited to hear the latest release from Robert Hale--I've been a fan of his since Livewire and Wildfire, and his CD is fantastic!" - Jennifer Ramm, WUIS