SMALL TOWN--debuted #2 on Bluegrass Billboard Chart
Bluegrass Unlimited Review: Mike has assembled a fine team to complement his considerable talents. Award-winning bass player and producer Mark Schatz is here in both capacities. Tommy Morse (of the Mike Mitchell Trio) share banjo duties very well with Sammy Shelor. Jesse Smathers contributes great tenor harmonies. And the strong yet nimble mandolin picking of Jarrod Walker is an especially good fit for Mitchell’s material . . . what especially makes Small Town a listener destination is Mike Mitchell’s distinctive songwriting on eight of the album’s 12 tracks. Among the standouts is “Tell It To My Face,” with Mike’s smooth vocal also containing a palpable measure of pain and frustration . . . read more here
produced by Mark Schatz, features Mike on fiddle, rhythm guitar, and vocals, Mark on bass, Sammy Shelor (banjo) and Jesse Smathers (tenor harmony), The Mike Mitchell Trio’s Tommy Morse on banjo –
Claire Lynch on Mike’s original tune, “Jenny Lynne.“
Recorded at Blackwater Recording by Harold Thompson
Mastered at Bias Media
Bluegrass Unlimited Review: Mitchell’s command of the fiddle is obvious and his tone is righteous. At times, his bowing is just different enough to cause a double take. The title cut, one of five originals, is a proclamation of what it is like to live in the middle of it all. It is humorous with a nice old-time bluegrass bounce to it. His “Homeplace” is a sentimental reflection on younger times. There are some standout cuts, like “Rachel” with a sweet triple fiddle treatment featuring Laurel Brooke and Buddy Pendleton playing along with Mitchell and the harmonic potatoes to kick off a nice version of “Limerock.” . . . read more here
produced and banjo-ed by Sammy Shelor, Wyatt Rice on guitar, Jacob Eller on bass, and Jeff Midkiff on mandolin. The CD also features Buddy Pendleton.
Recorded at Mountain Fever Studios and mixed/mastered at Blackwater Recording.
…the title song, a ballad written in commemoration of the miners who died in Sago, WV in January 2006, is more than that. Among the finest songs I’ve heard in this very good year for roots music, it tears straight to the listener’s heart and soul from its first line, ‘I was a man…’ If that haunted melody sounds a little like something you’ve heard before, well, it’s at least an echo of the one that carries the Grateful Dead’s beloved ‘Ripple’. Nothing wrong with that. What matters is that Mitchell’s way of telling its profoundly sad yet ultimately affirming tale is utterly unforgettable.”
– Jerome Clark, Rambles.net