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Reviews of bluegrass music releases

Keith Lawrence, Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer • Dec 15, 2015 at 2:13 PM

(MCT) – J.D. MESSER & SANCTIFIED, "Coal Miner's Prayer," Kindred Records. 12 tracks.

J.D. Messer & Sanctified is a six-member bluegrass-gospel band from the Eastern Kentucky-West Virginia border.

You might not have heard of them yet, but with an album like this, the band should start getting a lot of notice.

Messer, the band's lead singer and mandolin player, wrote or co-wrote 11 of the 12 tracks. And Kenny Stanley, the guitar player, wrote the other one.

That might sound like a vanity project, but it's not.

There are some strong songs on the album.

"Lunch Box Letter" isn't a gospel song, but it fits the album well.

A woman writes a love letter to her coal miner husband and sticks it into his lunch box every morning. He dies in a cave-in, but there's a love letter inside the lunch box that he wrote to her before he died.

"Coal Miners Prayer" is about a miner who doesn't believe in God. But he hits his knees and learns to pray when his wife and newborn child are in danger.

"When Mama Talks To The Man" tells the story of a junkie about to commit suicide. But his mother is praying at home and his gun jams.

"Road Less Traveled" is about a man driving home from a revival who picks up an angel disguised as an old man.

And "Rain" is a great a capella number about Noah and the flood.

Good album with some good original songs.

Can't find it in stores? Try www.jdmesserandsanctified.com.

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