The new instrumental album by Kevin Williams is an instrumental bluegrass collection titled Front Porch Pickin’: Old Time Gospel Favorites. I did not have the luxury of looking at the liner notes for this release, but it appears that Williams is most likely the sole musician playing a nice variety of instruments including banjo, mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar, dobro, harmonica, etc. No particular instrument is really featured over the others, at least not to a significant extent.
Each arrangement consists of several verses with the melody making its way from instrument to instrument until everyone gets a turn and the song concludes, much like a group of friends would do if they gathered on a porch on a cool evening to “pick a while.” All the song titles are familiar and the approach to each song arrangement is as I’ve just described, so I won’t go into depth describing each individual track.
If you’ve observed Williams on the Gaither Gospel Series, you already know he is quite talented and more particularly, a technically accurate musician. My chief complaint about Front Porch Pickin’ is that his arrangements tend to run longer than necessary. “Life’s Railway To Heaven” takes more than five minutes to arrive at the concluding destination, for example, despite being set at a quick pace.
Each song can stand on its own merit, but as a collection of songs, Front Porch Pickin’ may be too predictable and/or methodical for some fans to enjoy in one sitting. That being said, the production quality is excellent, and aspiring players can certainly use William’s examples as set forth on Front Porch Pickin’ to influence and inspire their own efforts.
Song Titles: I’ll Fly Away; I Feel Like Traveling On; When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder; Precious Memories; I Saw The Light; Farther Along; When The Saints Go Marching In; Shall We Gather At The River; Life’s Railway To Heaven; O Come Angel Band; What A Friend We Have In Jesus; Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars