Ray Cardwell’s Debut Album, Tennessee Moon, Making an Early Splash

By February 21, 2017 June 28th, 2018 Ray Cardwell

Nashville, TN – Ray Cardwell is having a big impact in the bluegrass world in the first weeks after the release of his debut Pinecastle Records album Tennessee Moon. The first single from the album, title track “Tennessee Moon,” is on Bluegrass Today’s Monthly Airplay Chart for January. Cardwell and his band along with Curtis Burch and producer Pat Flynn recently visited local television station WBKO in Bowling Green, KY for a live interview and performance which, can be viewed here.

Other examples of chart action include the title cut “Tennessee Moon” currently at #2 on the Roots Music Report’s Bluegrass Chart. Three other songs that have also charted are “Stop, Look and Listen,” “Think About Me,” and “His Will.” The album has consistently been on the Top 50 Bluegrass Albums Chart for Roots Music Report. At Bluegrass Today, “Cedar Creek Pickaway” entered the Bluegrass Singles chart at #20 and “Tennessee Moon” was #17. The album has ranked repeatedly within the top ten of Airplay Direct’s current Top 50 Bluegrass/Folk albums.

“Ray Cardwell is a man after my own heart, an extremely gifted soulful singer, a wicked bass player…and a hard working songwriter who understands not only the tradition of bluegrass music but the importance of having his own unique voice in the Amen Corner.” John Cowan

“He is more than a kindred spirit to his brothers in New Grass Revival, he has newgrass DNA coursing through his veins. I can’t stop listening to this powerful new project.” – Terry Herd – Bluegrass Today/Bluegrass Radio Network

“We have a bluegrass foundation, but we’re able to pull off everything from straight ahead bluegrass and a cappella gospel quartets to blues and even a reggae song. I like the fact that Ray is able to embrace a lot of different styles, and pull them all off.” – Pat Flynn, producer

Notable press interviews within the bluegrass industry include: WSM, live with the legendary Bill Cody; Big Al Weekley on WMMT (Whitesburg, KY); Jeff Miller, host of the Flashpoint Bluegrass Radio Show onWorldWideBluegrass.com; and Bob Webster’s Bluegrass for Lunch on WLOE, with a simulcast on Bluegrass Country on 105.5 FM, WAMU 88.5 HD 2 and streaming at bluegrasscountry.org. Also, Nashville Lifestylemagazine showcased Cardwell in a full-page Spotlight section.

Cardwell is encouraged with the response from bluegrass, Americana, roots music and gospel audiences. “This has exceeded my expectations. Many different styles of music have influenced my life and writing style, and I am so pleased that people are responding,” Cardwell said, adding, “Each musical path I have taken over the years has added an interesting layer to what we now brand as ‘Bluegrass Soul’ – with me returning full circle to the music I played growing up in a Missouri Ozarks family bluegrass band.”

Tennessee Moon features Cardwell on lead and baritone vocals plus bass. Cuts from the album combine the sound of contemporary bluegrass with hints of blues and soul all elevated by Cardwell’s charismatic command of performance. Nine of twelve songs on the album are Ray Cardwell originals or co-written. Tennessee Moon was produced by famed guitarist/New Grass Revival member Pat Flynn who gathered a band of bluegrass elite to include: Scott Vestal (Sam Bush Band); Danny Roberts (The Grascals); Andy Leftwich(Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder) and Rob Ickes (Blue Highway). Bluegrass Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry star Jesse McReynolds plays mandolin on the title cut, and contributing harmony vocals are Ronnie Bowman, Claire Lynch and John Cowan, the former New Grass Revival lead singer/bassist who sings harmony on nine of Cardwell’s tracks.