By James Calemine

These days Tom T. Hall lays relatively low. Known as a top-drawer songwriter, author and storyteller, Hall’s 2007 release Tom T. Hall Sings Miss Dixie & Tom T. finds the Kentuckian singing about coal mines, displaced families and dead soldiers.

This CD was cut at the Hall’s studio in Franklin, Tennessee, and proves as a vital release by Hall and his wife. This album took less than a week to record. “I’m A Coalmining Man” opens the disc with a banjo-fueled run that evokes images of country folk living their lives in a rural area.

“Hero In Harlan” tells the tale of a flag draped casket that rings true for any generation living with war. “One More Last Chance” emerges as a bluegrass-country classic. Raise your glass to old time music, and putting down your old ways when you hear this one.

“Somewhere In Kentucky” proves Tom T. Hall’s voice sounds fine with age. These songs would force your grandfather to tap his toe. “Leaving For Baker County” resembles some old Library of Congress recording in its silvertone earthy banjo-fiddle driven tempo.

“One of These Days (When I Miss Lester Flatt)” resembles a talking blues flanked by the ever-present banjo and fiddle that threads Hall’s memorable narrative. On this CD, Hall’s band includes seasoned pros such as Glen Duncan, Jimmy Martin, Earl Scruggs and Randy Kohrs.

“Pretty Green Hills” proves Hall’s songwriting remains sharp as ever because he sings for common, hardworking folk and never forgets their dilemma. This CD serves as testimony to the power of Hall and his wife’s songwriting talents that continue to shine…