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Craig Vance: Stuff they're sayin'

After recording several CD’s with the McKrells over the past decade, Craig Vance steps into the spotlight himself with his first self-labeled CD, The Hills of Glencoe. Vance, a familiar face to readers of FGM, selects a variety of bluegrass standards as well as a number of original tunes (five out of the 12 cuts on this CD) for his debut.
A solo album is always a risk, and I think in this case Vance included a variety of bluegrass standards (“Arkansas Traveler”, “Love Please Come Home”, “Whiskey Before Breakfast”, “June Apple”, “Cattle in the Cane”, “Dark Hollow”, and “Old Brown Case”) to provide listeners with a comfort zone from which he could present his original tunes. And while they are certainly competent renditions, I found myself being more captivated by his original tunes.
Craig’s original tunes shine on this project. The rich moodiness of instrumentals like “Silent Exchange” or “Dawn in December” or the shining star of the CD, the Celtic-flavored title cut “The Hills of Glencoe” have an artistic vitality that is absent in the non-original tunes. The vocals “Walk With Me Tonight” and “Snowbound”, while slightly weaker than the instrumentals, still have good lyrics, powerful emotional content, and excellent instrumental backup. I think that when Craig thinks about another project, he will serve his own artistry and his potential audience better by producing a CD with fewer “familiar favorites” and more of his own tunes. The five original tunes are more of what I’d love to hear in a Craig Vance solo CD.
Chris Thiessen - Flatpicking Guitar Magazine (Nov, 2006)
Hey Craig,

Many thanks for sending us a copy of your new project, "The Hills of Glencoe," which I have been immensely enjoying. You've written some cool originals, sing a few songs with some real gusto and, of course, pick the heck out of the guitar. I especially enjoyed "Silent Exchange," "Snowbound," "Cattle in the Cane" and the killer title track.

Thanks again for the fine music--I'll be doing my best to get the word out in Nashville and in our other syndicated outlets including bluegrasscountry.org.

Dave Higgs
Nashville Public Radio