Ned Hill’s new release Six Feet Above Ground (Michael J. Media) is full of honest stories of life’s hard won victories and bitter defeats. Produced by Dave Coleman in Nashville, the album is Hill’s first solo album after years of making music as Ned Van Go, the Cowards and in the Blue Cha Chas. With Jeffrey Perkins on drums and Johnny Mark Miller on bass, the songs keep a beat that recalls the best of early country music. Fiddles round out Hill’s acoustic guitar and the result is a downhome understated wonder.
Hill’s storytelling is full to overflowing with the gritty images that Americana music is founded on. “That’s My Story” confronts high school days during segregation “stuck between faith and the pain and glory.” The song’s protagonist struggles through college in a desperate fashion anyone can relate to. The characters in all the songs make their way in very human fashion and in a blue collar Bruce Springsteen style. “Half Alive” has those truly great lyric lines that don’t come along every day: “the worn out spot where the time we spent old memories of the days gone by… I know I’ve been lying to myself.“ These words highlight the longing inherent inside human relationships with country guitar. “When You’re Gone” is an instantly classic pretty song where Hill showcases his fluid vocals that sweetly hit the high range. “You Got It” picks us back up with the tongue in cheek “don’t you know that you’ve got it.” And “Streets of My Hometown” sketches the poignant emptiness of local stores standing empty in the aftermath of Wal-Mart’s dominance.
The album weaves tales of streets and railroads, love and loneliness, struggle and survival, all cradled in comforting country arrangements that’ll leave you feeling all right on your ride home after the show.
Hurry out and get your copy today, right here.