Jim Faddis’s voice has the high fragile tension of the last slow song of the night. His music is road-worn and wears a couple of patches, but all for the better in this CGI world. Long the frontman of the fine Northwest bluegrass band, Prairie Flyer, Faddis has released a solo album called “One More Ride,”with Dale Adkins on guitar, Jeff Smith on mandolin, Alex Hargreaves on fiddle, and Linda Hamm-Grez and Kristen Grainger helping out with vocals. Twelve of the fourteen songs are original and are perfectly suited to the earthy, meditative feel of the record. These are songs of love and leaving, where loss always plays a part and does here to great appeal. Alex Hargreaves’s fiddle opens everything up to the wild spaces of memory and times gone by. The band here plays its part well. It’s not that I don’t love solo acoustic music at times, but there’s something about listening to a group of people taking songs like this, songs that reach to the bone, and playing them with each other, or maybe for each other, that creates an intimacy rarely found by one. It can, at times, be the difference between naval gazing and shared experience.
I’m late coming to this album. KBCS host, Christine Linde, picked it as one of her favorites of 2010, and must have handed it to me at some point over the last few months. It was a Sunday morning though listening to Tamara Lewis on Sunday Folks that I first really heard it. I’m glad I did. A perfect record for a fine and cloudy northwest morning.