Jelly Home

all the articles, back to 1995

what’s Jelly got to do with it?

The Jelly Jar
factoids, jokes & links

search / tips


Buy now at

New Coon Creek Girls
Our Point of View,  Pinecastle Records CD PRC1077, 1998

 Distaff bluegrass

You won’t find them on the much touted Lilith Fair Tour. They’re not members of the Grand Ole Opry. Too bad, for on the band’s new release,  Our Point Of View, the all-female bluegrass band’s cohesion and capacity rise to the fore, resulting in an extremely pleasing effort.

Owing more to the ’90s’ style of bluegrass popularized by Alison Krauss, the New Coon Creek Girls nevertheless are anything but new. They’ve been at it since the early ’80s. They’ve shared stages with Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley, and recorded with the legendary Jim & Jesse. Their lead singer, Dale Ann Bradley, has become a bit of a name for herself due to her distinctly sweet vocals, yet the band, despite their interesting name and lineage, have failed to cross into the mainstream. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In the bluegrass world they are highly respected. Their music’s taken them around the world, performing on stages from the Opry to across Europe.

On their latest album, while it is not quite their best, the Girls nevertheless shine. Bradley’s vocals, augmented by Ramona Church Taylor’s tenor and Vicki Simmons’ baritone, command much of the attention. Indeed, tunes such as "Danny Boy," the album’s stand-out, feature little instrumentation. Bradley masterfully emotes, winding her way through the classic song’s subtle nuances with the studied skill of the seasoned pro that she’s become, easily resulting in the finest interpretation of "Danny Boy" in eons.

The album comes uncluttered with guest or augmented accompaniment, leaving it to the ladies to supply all the music. And except for a few instances, they keep their individual talents under wraps, heightening the notion that the New Coon Creek Girls are an ensemble. Each member, however, takes a step forward on the album’s lone instrumental track, aptly titled "On Fire." Their cover of Jimmie Rodgers’ "Muleskinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8)," owing more to Monroe than Rodgers, features some quite welcome improvisation, though Perry’s short mandolin solo compares not a bit with Monroe’s.

Several gospel numbers, including the languid "Clinging To A Saving Hand" (featuring Richardson’s nice fiddle solo) and especially the affecting three-part harmony on "Who Will Pray For Me," offer examples of the band at their unadulterated Sunday best. Taylor’s lead vocal on "Heaven’s The Way To Go," while endearing and entertaining, nonetheless lacks the lyrical appeal of the album’s other gospel cuts.

Emblematic of the album’s spirit is the euphonic, upbeat "One Of A Kind," in which Bradley sings of finding love after "a lifetime of searching for what I thought I’d never find."  Our Point of View, with its spare arrangements, introspective nature and steady flow of positivity, finds the New Coon Creek Girls flowing as brilliantly as a beautiful mountain stream on a warm Kentucky morning.– Tom Netherland


Dale Ann Bradley, vocals and guitar; Ramona Church Taylor, vocals and banjo; Vicki Simmons, vocals and bass; Pam Perry, vocals and mandolin; Deanie Richardson, vocals and fiddle.

Copyright © 1998 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.