Bluegrass-video sandwich with Evel Knievel in the middle

Being Evel
Being Evel

This week’s four stars and more column features reviews of two bluegrass CDs sandwiched around my thoughts on a DVD about daredevil Evel Knievel. Enjoy!

‘Things We Do For Dreams,’ Trinity River Band (Orange Blossom Records, 1/2)

This Harris family band (Sarah: mandolin, lead and harmony vocals; Joshua: banjo, resophonic guitar, lead and harmony vocals; mom Lisa: doghouse bass and harmony vocals; Brianna: fiddle, lead and harmony vocals; and Daddy Mike guitar and lead vocals) are loaded with talent. Sarah also composed three of the songs here, and multi-instrumentalist Joshua engineered this recording with Mike mixing. Josh and Sarah co-produced.

My favorite tunes are “Silver and Gold,” composed by Carl Perkins and other brothers, Sarah’s “Lover’s Leap,” “The Mirror,” the instrumental “Ten Miles to Deep Gap” and “Between Me and Jolene.”

Fans of family harmony and mostly traditional bluegrass music will enjoy this album.

‘Being Evel,’ directed by Daniel Junge (MVDvisual )

This late-2016 DVD, produced by Johnny Knoxville, purports to tell “the real story behind the myth of American icon Robert ‘Evel’ Knievel and his legacy.” Few daredevils are as well known and memorable as Knievel (Oct. 17, 1938–Nov. 30, 2007).

His childhood, his days as a much-better-than-average insurance salesman, his days as a Honda salesman who dreamed up motorcycle stunts as a way to interest folks in the bikes and much more are covered in the film. Johnny Knoxville, Tony Hawk, the late Frank Gifford and many other folks, some who are part of the exreme sports world, also appear. There’s nifty music, including T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy,” Donovan’s “Season of the Witch,” Frampton’s “Show Me The Way” and other excerpts.

Fans of extreme sports and folks who can remember the days of Evel will want this program.

‘The Little End of Something Big,’ The King James Boys (Son Sound West Records, )

Most bluegrass bands play at least a couple of gospel songs, The King James Boys play all bluegrass-gospel songs. The band has been active since 1994, and this offering features new young members for the first time joining founding members Randy Spencer (vocals/guitar) and “Yank” Dover (vocals). They are Randy’s son Cole (vocals/bass), Jesse Owens on banjo and Jacob Jackson on mandolin (who wasn’t present at the show I recently saw). Dobro player Collin Willis and guitarist Chris Payne also appear.

I enjoyed these songs most: “No Power in the Water,” “He’ll Make a Way Out of No Way,” two traditional ones, “Come and Dine” and “Meeting in the Air” plus a new version of the Louvin Brothers’ “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.”

Fans of bluegrass gospel should obtain this recording ASAP.

Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at flakericky@gmail.com.