Album Review: Holly Norman “Taking Care Of Bluegrass - A Tribute To Elvis ”

Talented artist and band turn Elvis Presley songs into new bluegrass hits which showcase roots genre’s versatility.

It’s pretty interesting at first blush to hear Taking Care of Bluegrass - A Tribute To Elvis. You’d think that the iconic star’s music wouldn’t necessarily work in a Bluegrass framework but they do. “In The Ghetto” allows you to hear the fantastic lyrics while “Suspicious Minds” turns into a spirited track. “C.C. Rider” is about as fast pickin’ as a bluegrass band can get and Holly Norman leads the band with gusto. Norman, an East Tennessee native with ties to Dolly Parton’s Dollywood (where she’s performed as a featured artist) and Roy Acuff, showcases a pure, smooth country voice on this record.

“Viva Las Vegas” is a song that probably always begged to be covered in a Bluegrass style and dang it if Holly and her band don’t do the song justice. The medley of Love Me Tender” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” is simply fantastic with fiddles and and mandolins and acoustic guitars showcasing the song in a soft, rootsy way while the iconic “Always On My Mind” is given time to shine and Holly Norman does the American Songbook standard justice, largely thanks to her fantastic vocals and the understated arrangement.

While only her second album, Taking Care of Bluegrass - A Tribute To Elvis showcases that Holly Norman is someone the IBMA and Bluegrass community better take note of. She can rival the likes of Amanda Smith, Dale Ann Bradley, Rhonda Vincent and Claire Lynch for top female vocalist honors and her career seems to only just be starting.