Sam Gleaves | A Little While in the Wilderness

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United States - Virginia

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Folk: Appalachian Folk Country: Old-Timey Moods: Type: Acoustic
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A Little While in the Wilderness

by Sam Gleaves

Traditional ballads and banjo music from the Blue Ridge mountains.
Genre: Folk: Appalachian Folk
Release Date: 

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  song title
1. Working Shoes
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3:38 $0.99
2. Train on the Island
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2:36 $0.99
3. Uncloudy Day
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3:00 $0.99
4. Camp a Little While in the Wilderness
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2:47 $0.99
5. Just Like Jordan
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3:59 $0.99
6. Your Long Journey (feat. Leigh Beamer)
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2:44 $0.99
7. Walkin' In Jerusalem (Just Like John) (feat. Jim Lloyd)
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2:06 $0.99
8. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down
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2:25 $0.99
9. Polly Put the Kettle On
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1:55 $0.99
10. Deep Ellum Blues
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3:43 $0.99
11. Big Sweet Taters in the Sandy Land
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2:02 $0.99
12. Pretty Bird
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2:48 $0.99
13. Sail Away Ladies
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2:09 $0.99
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Album Notes
A Little While in the Wilderness, Gleaves' sophomore release, celebrates the arrival of a new voice for the mountains, blending tradition and innovation to render a startling beauty. Gleaves looks back on his Blue Ridge mountain heritage with cuts like "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down" and "Deep Ellum Blues," learned from his long time teacher, mountain music master Jim Lloyd. Lloyd also lends his talents as a musician and producer on the album, playing mandolin, guitar and bass and working his masterful arrangements into each song. With this album, Gleaves debuts as a songwriter, putting forward his thoughtful and poignant original songs "Working Shoes," a haunting coal miner's tale, and "Just Like Jordan," a sweet, nearly religious love song with a classic country melody. Gleaves also offers up thoughtful and intense ballads on the album, nodding at his friend and mentor Sheila Kay Adams with the title track, "Camp A Little While in the Wilderness" and mourning one of the mountains' strongest voices, Hazel Dickens with the moving, "Pretty Bird." Gleaves doesn't hold back as a picker, either, bringing in the rollicking banjo tune "Polly Put The Kettle On" and "Big Sweet Taters in the Sandy Land," a fiddle tune that moves the feet. Gleaves harmonizes sweetly with his friend, young Blue Ridge folksinger Leigh Beamer on the heartbreaking, "Your Long Journey," and duets with producer and teacher Jim Lloyd on the gospel standard, "Walkin' in Jerusalem (Just Like John)." Throughout the record, Gleaves shows himself as a young man blissfully lost in the wilderness of mountain music, a holy place to him, as ballad singer Dellie Norton said, "These woods are my church." A Little While in the Wilderness hearkens back to Appalachia's early days and shows hope for its future, where its sweet and mournful song lives on . . .


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Ron Ireland

There is a special something extra in this young man
I live in an area blessed with gifted musicians. Many of them are making a concentrated effort to preserve the traditional music of Appalachia. Sam excels in preserving and extending the traditions. Listen to him sing "Sail Away Ladies" and you'll hear the echo through the mountains and through the years. Listen to Sam's original song "Working Shoes" and you'll hear what it sounds like to extend the genre while respecting its origins. Recording with Sam, are two more superb musicians, Leigh Beamer, and Jim Lloyd.

Buy the music, listen. I'm not even sure anymore how people find music they like, or how musicians are able to reach a point where they can make a living making our lives better with their art, but, I am sure that if there is still a force at work that seeks out greatness and moves it into the public view, that force will find Sam and you will hear from him. Until then, do what you can to move things along. Download the music here. Buy a physical CD from Sam when you go to see him play, and ask him to sign it. Wouldn't you love to have a signed record from "Pop" Stoneman, A.P. Carter, or Riley Puckett? Yes, I'm talking THAT good. I've played with many musicians, most of whom are technically excellent, but the times I've been privileged to play with Sam Gleaves, I've been so distracted by what he does to a song that I've found myself stopping to listen and forgetting that I'm supposed to be playing too. There is something special, something extra in Sam's music. You may call it soul, or respect for the traditions, but being of a mystical bent myself, I call it a flat-out gift of the Holy Spirit.