Lake Wylie, SC -- It has been 17 years since Allen Shadd released his first solo project on the now defunct Mid-Knight label.That was the same year that he won the National Flatpicking Championship in Winfield, Kansas for the first time. So now that he recently won that title for the second time in September of 2013, it is only fitting that he releases his second solo project.
Much like his first project, which featured many guest artists including Claire Lynch, Alan O'Bryant, Randy Howard, and about a dozen more of his friends, this new recording also features several guest artists. On his new project, Miles from the Hard Road, Allen is joined by Aubrey Haynie, Randy Lucas, Bryan McDowell, Rob Ickes and Wayne Taylor (of Blue Highway). This recording is a mixture of original instrumentals, and some old standards played with new ideas.
"What a Friend We Have in Jesus" kicks off the cd, played as a solo guitar instrumental. It is followed by the original compositions "The 5th of September" and "Flatland", which lead into a unique version of "Freight Train". That is the only vocal number on the project besides the final cut Three Rusty Nails which was previously recorded in 1995 but unreleased until now. "Old Joe Clark" and "Gold Rush" both offer Allen's spin on traditional songs, with the latter leading into the Bill Monroe standard "The Gold Rush", kicked off by the twin fiddles of Aubrey Haynie and Bryan McDowell. Allen also included a couple of his award-winning contest tunes, Little Rock Getaway and Alabama Jubilee, but with a full ensemble instead of just the usual contest arrangement of a single rhythm guitarist. The original Miles from the Hard Road is the title track, and Randy Lucas' "Red Eyed Benny Hen" bring the cd up to the last song, Three Rusty Nails.
Three Rusty Nails was recorded in 1995, at the same time as his cd "A Cut Above" was recorded. It features vocals by Terry Campbell (one of the co-writers of the song), Keith Tew, and instrumentation is provided by Terry Campbell (bass), Randy Howard (fiddle), Mike Auldridge (dobro), Steve Pruett (mandolin), and Allen Shadd on guitar.
Allen explains in the liner notes,
"I recorded this in October of 1995, at the time to be included on my "A Cut Above" cd. It was brought to the session by one of the co-writers, Terry Campbell, who played bass and performed vocals on some of the tracks. There was some discussion at the time with Ronnie Bowman (the main writer of the song) to record it with us, but Ronnie ultimately decided to record it himself for his own upcoming project and release it first, as we all agreed he should. So I left my recording of it off the cd, and until recently the master tapes from that session were thought to be lost. I decided to release it on this new project for a number of reasons. This was the last thing I recorded with my friend Randy Howard, as well as Mike Auldridge. I consider this a tribute Randy Howard and Mike Auldridge."
The full track listing is:
The scheduled release date is July 2nd, but pre orders can be made at the link on Allen's website, http://allenshadd.wordpress.com/miles-from-the-hard-road/ Allen will be performing a few select dates this fall as part of a trio with Jack Lawrence and T. Michael Coleman, inluding the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield KS, Sept. 17-21.