One Foot in the Honky Tonk – 2011

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Honky Tonk

This album made two Top 10 Lists for CDs in 2011 and featured a single that charted nationally, Almost Hear the Blues. “A wonderful bluegrass album that is just waiting for more of us to discover. As he has consistently done, within this new volume James Reams’ life experiences and those of his ancestors permeate the songs – whether he wrote them or not – not lending them authenticity but ensuring they are authentic. When listening to James Reams, one is on a bridge connecting the present to the past, where the waters below blend the relationships and lamentations of today with those who birthed and shaped them. There are few bluegrass singers who match the lithe and masculine timbre Reams brings to the songs he is called to perform. With One Foot in the Honky Tonk, James Reams further defines his bluegrass, blending the varied elements of the roadhouse with sounds from the hills of Kentucky and her neighbors. One foot in the honky-tonk indeed, but the rest of the Barnstormers’ bodies and their souls are deep in the bluegrass.” ~ Donald Teplyske, Fervor Coulee Bluegrass, 2011 Top Ten CDs

“[James Reams and the Barnstormers] have been around almost two decades, playing their own style of music. James’ music is hardcore traditional bluegrass and acoustic music. There’s no indication that he feels bound to the Monroe tradition and you’ll hear some old-time sound in his music, but if he isn’t in the same vein of coal with Monroe he’s certainly in the same coal mine.” ~ Larry Stephens, Lonesome Road Review, Top 10 CDs of 2011

Signifying a period of growing esteem and prominence within the bluegrass world, this album also marks a series of transitions for James and his band mates. Joined again by long-time compatriot Mark Farrell, a multi-instrumentalist whose fiddle and mandolin excellence have highlighted four previous Reams’ projects, the line-up on this album is as strong as ever. Circumstances and good fortune have brought Barnstormers Doug Nicolaisen and Nick Sullivan into the fold. What remains the same is the passion and precision with which their music is shared.

  • James Reams – guitar, lead vocals
  • Mark Farrell – fiddle, mandolin, harmony vocals
  • Doug Nicolaisen – banjo
  • Nick Sullivan – upright bass, harmony vocals
  • Kenny Kosek – fiddle (on tracks where Mark is on mandolin)
  • Barry Mitterhoff – mandolin (on tracks where Mark is on fiddle)