Charlottesville, VA -- Rebel Records is pleased to announce today's release of Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers' second single "Now The Summer's Gone" from their upcoming album, Another Day From Life (REB-1859). The song is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon and other online retailers. The physical and online versions of the full album will be released Tuesday, September 30th.
In a relatively short time, Ohioan Joe Mullins and his band have established themselves as one of the leaders of today's crop of traditional bluegrass acts. But what might seem like a short time is really more like a lifetime of involvement with the music: the son of noted fiddler, promoter, and disc jockey Paul Mullins, Joe has extended the family's extremely successful track record, adding ownership of several radio stations to the highlights of a unique career.
Even as his collaboration with Junior Sisk, Hall Of Fame Bluegrass!, vies for three IBMA awards, Joe Mullins is getting ready to release Another Day From Life, his fourth for Rebel Records. Like its predecessors, Another Day From Life features his durable Radio Ramblers band; it has the unmistakable flavor of the unique and vibrant regional scene in which Joe grew up; and, it serves up a well-crafted selection of songs and performances that have made Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers one of the best-loved groups on the bluegrass scene today.
Dig a little deeper, though, and there are some changes—tweaks, if you will—that make Another Day From Life not just the latest addition to an already gleaming catalog, but an exciting one, too. To begin with, the project is the first album to feature guitarist/lead singer Duane Sparks. An Indiana native and long-time bandmate of the late Gerald Evans, Jr. (who served for years alongside Joe in the fabled Traditional Grass), Sparks keeps it close to home, with an expressive voice and deep roots in the same scene that nurtured Joe and the other veteran Radio Ramblers. Similarly, while newest member Randy Barnes (bass) has a stellar resume that includes stints with Lou Reid, Larry Stephenson, New Found Road and Josh Williams, he’s a product of the nearby central Kentucky “school of bluegrass” that constitutes the third leg of the “OKI” (Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana) region whose musical legacy the Radio Ramblers uphold.
Another Day From Life ranges broadly, pulling in a western swing staple (“Miss Molly”), a Bill Gaither gospel song, a classic country hit from Porter Wagoner and even one from Americana singer-songwriter hero Darrell Scott. But no matter the source, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers always put their distinctive stamp on a song, making it at once their own and a part of the chain of tradition that lies at the heart of bluegrass.
For some artists, every new recording is an opportunity to break new ground. For others, though, it’s an opportunity to plow a deeper furrow in the same soil. Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers know who they are—as people, as individual musicians, and as a band. On Another Day From Life, they offer us not so much a new look as a deeper one, and bluegrass music is that much richer for it.