Originally created 05/06/04

Mountain Heart's new CD could bring bluegrass to country charts



Tuesday marks the release of Mountain Heart's new album, Force of Nature, a 13-song CD produced by Ricky Skaggs for Skaggs Family Records.

Those who have heard advance copies said the album might take the six-piece bluegrass band to a new level of stardom.

Mixed with the traditional bluegrass songs are several radio-friendly numbers that possibly could be hit country singles, including Another Day, Snapshots and Souvenirs and a remake of the 1970s Jim Glaser hit Man in the Mirror.

The Tennessee-based band was in Aiken on April 30, performing at a $65 per-ticket benefit concert.

The members are Steve Gulley, Barry Abernathy, Jim Van Cleve, Jason Moore, Clay Jones and Adam Steffey.

Mr. Gulley and Mr. Abernathy conceived of Mountain Heart about seven years ago while playing with Doyle Lawson's band Quicksilver.

BOOK SIGNING & SINGING TODAY: Like a proud parent, I'm excited about my latest book, Entertainment in Augusta and the CSRA, published by Arcadia Publishing, a national company headquartered in Charleston, S.C.

It covers a wide range of entertainment personalities and events associated with the Augusta area.

It also contains about 200 photos, including those of visiting country stars such as Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.

Brenda Lee graciously wrote the introduction.

Today from 5 to 7 p.m., I will sign copies (available for $20) at the Augusta Museum of History, Sixth at Reynolds streets.

Because I know that I'm not that much of a draw, Augusta's classic vocalist Flo Carter will perform and Elvis tribute artist Jeff Barnes will sing the King's masterpieces while I'm signing.

If you can't come down, copies are in local bookstores, gift shops and other places.

They also can be ordered through amazon.com or arcadiapublishing.com.

PICKIN' & GRINNIN': The Mossy Oak Music Park, 533 Old Louisville Road, in Guyton, Ga., near Savannah, will hold Lonesome Whistle Band's Hometown Bluegrass Festival on May 27-29.

The music is from 2 to 10 p.m. May 27, with the gospel show priced at $8 and noon to 10 p.m. May 28-29 with the bluegrass shows costing $15).

Ages 12-15 are admitted half-price, and admission is free for ages 11 and younger.

Bands include Lonesome River Band, Southern Life, Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen, Liberty Bluegrass Boysa, and the Gary Waldrep Band.

New Found Road, James King Band, Bryan County Bluegrass and Lonesome Whistle Band also will be performing at the festival.

See the Web site lonesomewhistleband.com for details.

DON RHODES HAS WRITTEN ABOUT COUNTRY MUSIC FOR 33 YEARS. HE CAN BE REACHED AT (706) 823-3214 OR AT DON.RHODES@MORRIS.COM.