Dale Ann Bradley Heads ‘Somewhere South of Crazy’
Three-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Female Vocalist of the Year Dale Ann Bradley was, like iconic entertainer Loretta Lynn, born under less than ideal circumstances in Kentucky. The daughter of a Primitive Baptist preacher, Dale Ann was raised in a backwoods holler where electricity and running water weren't even available until she was in high school.
"Loretta Lynn had it easy compared to how I grew up," the endlessly upbeat singer-songwriter and guitar picker says of her origins. "It was very different, I grew up in a tar and paper shack."
Hailed by critics for her soulful voice and unique song selection, Dale Ann is getting ready to release her latest album, 'Somewhere South of Crazy,' on Compass Records. The disc, which will be available August 30, features a title track Dale Ann penned (and performs) with Pam Tillis.
"We had the best time writing. I just love her," Dale Ann says of Pam. "We sat down, and she had that title line and the idea, and I came up with the melody and some lines -- we had worked on a few different things, but this was the one that we finished, and as soon as we did, I knew it was going to be the title track."
Other key tunes on the new collection include a stirring cover of Bill Monroe's 'In Despair,' all the more fitting since the album will be released just shortly before the Father of Bluegrass' 100th birthday.
"I didn't plan it as a tribute," says Dale Ann with a laugh. "But I hope people will think of it as one. I just wanted to showcase a more traditional side of what I do. But I'm glad it's coming out on his 100th birthday!"
Showcasing her more poignant side is 'Come Home Good Boy,' a song that conjured the memory of when Dale Ann was just five years old and witnessed a neighbor boy who had served with her uncle in Vietnam returning home in a casket.
A singer who has occasionally put her bluegrass stamp on pop or rock songs, Dale Ann includes the fresh (and timely) 'Summer Breeze' (a 1972 hit for Seals & Crofts) on her new album.
"I've always wanted to do that song," she says. "I don't pick out a rock tune just for the sake of having one -- it has to be one that I always grew up with, or one that I hear that strikes me as fitting into the mix. Sometimes a melody or lyric will just have that feel, just lend itself to the banjo or something like that -- like this one, it almost sounds Celtic to me."
Dale Ann Bradley and her band are currently on tour. Check out upcoming dates here.