Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Lifestyles

March 16, 2012

Ironton singer-songwriter's album to be released April 1

IRONTON — With a collection of songs written during a 15- to 20-year period and a list of musicians he’s dreamed of working with, guitarist and singer Steve Shelton of Ironton says he is pleased with his new recoding “Tallmansville,” set for release April 1.

The title track of Shelton’s latest studio project is a tribute to the men who lost their lives in the Sago Mine Disaster of 2006. Shelton said he started writing the tune as officials confirmed they had lost all but one of the trapped miners, and the lyrics also deal with the issue of outside ownership of mining operations.

When the time came to record “Tallmansville,” Shelton said he had a list of names to call upon. When the project was complete, Shelton’s guitar and voice were joined by the talents of Don Rigsby, who produced the album as well as singing and playing mandolin and archtop guitar; Matt Hooper on fiddle, Phil Leadbetter on dobro; Rowdy Vance, Josh Click and Tim Surrett on bass; Josh Manning on guitar; tenor vocals by Gary Kesling; fiddles by Deanie Richardson; Rob Ickes on dobro; Shawn Lane on fiddle and tenor vocals, and the voice of Julie Reeves.

“We ended up with this all-star cast of bluegrass musicians. Luckily, my wife didn’t kill me for spending so much on it,” Shelton said with a chuckle.

Shelton said he has absolutely no desire to tour with “Tallmansville,” citing his deep appreciation of spending time with his wife and two daughters in Ironton. Instead, he said the new CD is a “songwriter record” which he hopes may get the attention of another artist.

“I wrote nine of the 13 tracks and I hope to get it out to others,” Shelton said, conceding he does plan to play many of the songs when he performs at a select handful of upcoming concerts. “The icing on the cake would be to have one of those songs go just as far as it can go.”

“I will play a couple of shows and festivals, but I have no interest in doing that ... really,” he said of a road tour.

Set for general release on the first day of April, Steve Shelton’s “Tallmansville” is already available at 9livesrecords.com.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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