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By Beka Compton
The Times 

An album worth sharing: Grandma & the Boys: Old Time Gospel

This one is for bluegrass lovers everywhere.


If you want to travel to simpler times, all you have to do is pop Grandma & the Boys’ Old Time Gospel into the CD player. A true testament to the bluegrass genre, this locally produced album features the voices of the late Grandma Jo Shay, the late Shawn Wray, and Joe McCutcheon, with lively mandolin and smooth acoustic bass.

Though I was late in finding this album, Grandma Jo’s version of “Amazing Grace” is, without a doubt, one of my new favorites. I never had the privilege of meeting her, but the way Grandma Jo sang this song was so warm and welcoming. It felt like I was sitting with her at a bluegrass jam. It sent me back to playing bluegrass as a kid with Kate Hockersmith and sparked a desire to pick my guitar up for the first time in years. Music that inspires like that is always worth sharing.

Grandma & the Boys Old Time Gospel features 13 timeless songs, including “Where Could I Go” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

The album was produced by Plaid Studios, owned by Jo’s grandson, Shawns son, Matt Wray. Times writer Brianna Wray designed the cover. If you knew Jo and Shawn, this is like going home. If you are only just learning of Grandma and the Boys, it is not too late to feel the love. I do not doubt that this and other recordings will find their way into the community over the next month. It is worth looking out for. I got my copy at Ten Ton Coffee, in Waitsburg where Jo joined in the monthly Mythical/Movable Blue Mountain Bluegrass Jam and where she is already missed.


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