Wild Card – 2006

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Wild Card

In this return engagement, James Reams (“The Kentucky Songbird”) and Walter Hensley (“The Banjo Baron of Baltimore”) offer up, with the able collaboration of Jon (“Baltimore Jonny”) Glik, Mark Farrell and Carl Hayano (gotta get those last two boys some nicknames), a strong hand of songs and tunes, some originals, some traditional, some rare gems and some drawn from unexpected places. Cut in one wild weekend, with all the musicians in the same studio at the same time and not a Pro-Tool in sight. Presented to you with all the edges intact and all the excitement raw.

“In their understated but quietly confident way Reams, Hensley and compatriots make some of the most satisfying bluegrass around. I suppose that there is no one way that bluegrass is ‘supposed’ to sound; nor, I’m sure, should there be. But if there were, it ought to be something like this, where the singers, the pickers, the songs and the soul of the music are as one.” ~ Jerome Clark, Rambles.NET

The band’s self-titled first album, released in 2003, was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association as one of only seven nominees for its Recorded Event of the Year award. Here’s what Richard D. Smith wrote in Bluegrass Unlimited about that earlier album: “If you’re tiring of the slick stuff and yearn for something straight-ahead, there’s not a false bend or blend here.“

If you’re hungry for bluegrass music with more grit and less glitz, here’s another heaping helping.

  • James Reams – guitar, lead vocals
  • Walter Hensley – banjo, 2nd guitar
  • Mark Farrell – mandolin, fiddle, baritone vocals
  • Carl Hayano – upright bass, tenor vocals
  • Jon Glik – fiddle, mandolin