Grandpa's Advice

Adie Grey
Hey Baby!

Dirty Linen, Vol. 71 - Aug/Sept 97

Grandpa’s Advice
Hey Baby! Music HB1005 (1997)

Brand new old time music is how Adie Grey explains her style, and it’s a description that works. She has the knack for writing contemporary songs that sound as though they are country/folk standards. She’s an intelligent, literate songwriter who, though their styles differ, reminds me somewhat of Matraca Berg - and, like Berg, Grey isn’t afraid to let her sense of humor show occasionally, as in the title song.

Grey has been singing and performing in public since she was quite young (she comes from a family of songwriters), and that maturity and experience is evident in her presentation. She has a voice that falls somewhere between Dolly Parton and Pam Tillis in character. Her instrument is the dulcimer, and she’s recruited Grammy award winning dulcimer player David Schnaufer as a guest, along with guitarist Albert Lee, vocalist Kathy Chiavola, and a number of other talented folks, including co-producer David MacKenzie.

Grey has put together a lively, entertaining album full of songs that should appeal to folk, country, and singer/songwriter fans alike.

Blue Suede News, #39 Summer 97

I really liked Adie Grey’s first CD, and this one is more of the same. The tunes are all either co-written by Grey with her husband Dave MacKenzie, or just written by Dave except for a couple co-written by others. Still old timey country & folk, but maybe a hair less so, still no drums though. Adie’s voice at times reminds me of Alison Krause, but stronger. In fact, I love her voice, the songwriting on this disc, and for that matter the backing music and production. MacKenzie, you’re a lucky man. But then Adie is lucky too, to have a great songwriter for an old man, who also is supportive enough to help put out one fine record after another. There are a number of folky/country styles on here, including swing and a nice cajun dance tune called "Daddy Put Your Beer Down." Really, another extra wonderful set of down home music. Do I steer you guys wrong? Write to Hey Baby! PO Box 150081, Nashville, TN 37215.

Folk Roots

Maybe, just maybe, the backlash has started in America and the good old roots stuff is fighting back overground against the look-at-me-I’m-a-singer-songwriter menace. One lives in hope.

Two years ago I was highly recommending a debut album by Adie Grey, particularly because her songs fitted so well into the tradition that you thought you knew them already (she was later featured on Froots #5). Now here’s her welcome follow-up, another set of often unashamedly nostalgic pieces, mostly co-written with her partner Dave MacKenzie. Since he’s better known as a blues performer, it’s not surprising that quite a few have that old vaudeville blues touch to them, but the mountains are never far away either. Grey’s vocals are as charming as before, and with guests including John Hartford, Albert Lee and Jo-el Sonnier among others, it’s another classy set. Hey Baby! Live at PO Box 150081, Nashville, TN 37215, USA,

The Performing Songwriter, Vol.5, Issue 25 - July/August 1997

Grandpa’s Advice is Adie Grey’s follow-up to her well-received debut, Brand New Old Time Music and continues her exploration of folk, country, blues and bluegrass styles. With contributions by famed Cajun accordion player Jo-el Sonnier, guitarist Albert Lee and John Hartford on the banjo, you know it’s an acoustic music lover’s dream.

Most of the thirteen songs Grey wrote with her musical collaborator, guitarist and hubby, Dave MacKenzie. Wit and wisdom flow throughout the bulk of this album like milk and honey. On the title track we’re cautioned of the hazards of highway travel and the fact the every one else on the road is "half-asleep or stoned." "Far Away Beyond These Mountains" sounds like it could’ve been taken from the Carter Family songbook. "Now That He’s Not In Love" features David Schnaufer on the dulcimer. With its surprising chord progressions and haunting melody, it’s a wonderful departure from the more traditional musical settings on the album. Kudos to songwriters MacKenzie and J. Berrafato.

Adie Grey combines wit, wisdom and wonder without ever stooping to clichés or mawkishness. Grandpa’s Advice could serve as a textbook to a lot of country wannabes.

1999 Walnut Valley program

Adie Grey, "Grandpa’s Advice." 1997
Hey Baby! Records. 13 selections.
For information,

Adie Grey sings traditional-sounding music with an attitude. The 13 songs on "Grandpa’s Advice" are written by Grey and guitar player Dave MacKenzie. Throughout, the lyrics are demanding and confident – and a little tongue-in-cheek. In one song, a Cajun-flavored stomp, Grey warns Daddy "ya better put your beer down, Mama wants to dance." In "It Ain’t the Money," she imagines her lawyer delivering a message to her detractors: "Y’all can kiss my cash." "The Grape and the Grain" recounts tales of debauchery with a smile. It sounds like a traditional pub song, complete with singers joining in lustily on the chorus. And in the CD’s title song, one that is beginning to have a life of its own, Adie gleefully repeats her grandpa’s warning that all other drivers are all jerks, drunk or on the phone.

The vocal interpretations here are full of the same attitude. From a pleasing warble to a bluesy exhortation, Adie has the pipes to deliver in every style. "Now That He’s Not in Love" is a particular showstopper, and it is matched by the playful "The Easiest Thing." Gospel fans will find much to like in the old-timey "Far Away Beyond These Mountains," decorated by a nice Will Smith autoharp break, and the resolute "If I Lose My Way."

Developing self-assurance must be easier when you’re backed by the best, and Adie Grey is. MacKenzie’s writing is superb, and his guitar parts show imagination. The slide on "If I Lose My Way" absolutely makes the song. Guest Albert Lee also lends guitar to one of the CD’s tunes. David Schnaufer plays dulcimer on a track, and John Hartford plays banjo. Miss this fun and varied collection at your own risk!

In the Walnut Valley Festival list of artists: