Andy Hall and Roosevelt Collier: Let the Steel Play
Writer: Kyler Klix
Not many musicians make a career out of the slide guitar, so music fans get a real treat with Let the Steel Play, the forthcoming album from Andy Hall (Infamous Strindusters) and Roosevelt Collier (the Lee Boys). The result is music so beautiful, you could imagine angels in heaven playing steel guitar instead of harps.
Let the Steel Play starts out with a completely new take on a familiar song. “This Little Light of Mine” isn’t the quiet gospel song you remember it as. With the steel spin on this one, the rhythm is fast and the music uplifting. You just want to jump up and say “Hallelujah” because it makes you feel so good.
The next few tracks slow down and bring some older folk songs for Hall and Roosevelt to express themselves on. “A Maiden’s Prayer” has a softer, country-western feel to it, and “Singing Steel” goes up and down, a strong track that shows the prowess of the fingers hitting those strings. The melody and harmony of the two together is exceptional.
Hall and Collier do their own take on these classic songs and also include another cover, the Grateful Dead’s “Crazy Fingers.” This sweet tune is played well, and Grateful Dead music always sounds beautiful played through bluegrass.
The rest of the album you might need dancing shoes for. “Rosebud” gets things booming again with some quick rhythm and catchy hooks. The duo’s take on the traditional “Rueben’s Train” showcases some fine playing; the twang going into soulful transition with the guitar sounds really good. Hall and Collier do a great job sharing the leads, which creates some dynamic parts.
“The Darkest Hour” sounds as epic as the title – picture it as background music in the dramatic part of a movie…maybe an epic gun battle. This song has a strong western feel to it, with a dark bass-line. The crescendo and build-up of this tune couldn’t get any better to complete this track.
Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass) adds some flair on the last track. Rounding out the album, “Colfax Boogie” keeps the uplifting happiness in the air. The three mesh well on this one, and close out a successful project as they boogie on out.
Many people who want to hear fresh takes on old songs will enjoyLet the Steel Play. But, they will be even happier with the originals that Hall and Roosevelt created for this album. It showcases their musical genius – creating new music for a side project on top of everything else these two have going on. Their originals are fun songs that, hopefully, they will get the chance to share more often.