Linda Lay & Springfield Exit
Gig Seeker Pro

Linda Lay & Springfield Exit

Winchester, Virginia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2001 | INDIE | AFM

Winchester, Virginia, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2001
Band Americana Bluegrass

Calendar

Music

Press


"SPRINGFIELD EXIT"

SPRINGFIELD EXIT

"Springfield Exit"

Cracker Barrel

LINDA LAY

"Linda's Mercantile Store"

Cracker Barrel

STONY POINT QUARTET

"Band of Angels"

Cracker Barrel

Springfield Exit's self-titled debut doesn't sport endorsements by Alison Krauss or Dolly Parton, but it's easy to imagine them embracing the trio's sound and eagerly singing along. Sincere, soulful and stubbornly old-fashioned, this may not be your grandfather's country music, but it comes mighty close.

That it's also the product of well-matched musicianship shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with the lineup: multi-instrumentalist and former Johnson Mountain Boy David McLaughlin, lead singer and bassist Linda Lay and guitarist David Lay. A rarity to be sure, Linda Lay boasts a voice as lovely as it is affecting, sublime and stirring by turns. With the inspired but unfussy support provided by her husband and McLaughlin -- plus two guests, fiddler Rickie Simpkins and pedal steel guitarist Rickie Davis -- she evokes her Carter Family country roots amid vintage string-band sounds that still ring untrendy and true. Contributing to the band's repertoire is a wide variety of gifted tunesmiths, including Tom T. Hall, Hazel Dickens and Greg Brown, but the performances are uniformly sung and performed in ways that will set your clock back decades.

Linda Lay can also be heard on two additional new recordings. "Linda's Mercantile Store," a splendid showcase for her interpretative skills, is largely devoted to familiar country and folk songs, including the Hank Williams classic "Mansion on the Hill," Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again" and Tom Paxton's "Last Thing on My Mind." Frequently graced by Dudley Connell's guitar work, the performances are honest, heartfelt and, in light of what passes for country music these days, thoroughly refreshing.

The Stony Point Quartet finds Lay, McLaughlin, Connell and bass vocalist Billy Lux reviving a collection of southern hymns on its debut CD, "Band of Angels." Connell, also a former Johnson Mountain Boy and a current member of the Seldom Scene, shares the lead vocals with Lay, and it's a role for which he is perfectly cast -- check out the moving renditions of "Drifting Too Far From the Shore" and "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand" for ample proof. Punctuating the frequent admonitions and resonant harmonies is some fine picking as well, thanks to McLaughlin's inspired handiwork on guitar and mandolin.

All of these recordings are part of an intriguing 15-disc collection of roots music produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts for the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store chain.


SPRINGFIELD EXIT "Springfiel ...
SPRINGFIELD EXIT

"Springfield Exit"

Cracker Barrel

LINDA LAY

"Linda's Mercantile Store"

Cracker Barrel

STONY POINT QUARTET

"Band of Angels"

Cracker Barrel

Springfield Exit's self-titled debut doesn't sport endorsements by Alison Krauss or Dolly Parton, but it's easy to imagine them embracing the trio's sound and eagerly singing along. Sincere, soulful and stubbornly old-fashioned, this may not be your grandfather's country music, but it comes mighty close.

That it's also the product of well-matched musicianship shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with the lineup: multi-instrumentalist and former Johnson Mountain Boy David McLaughlin, lead singer and bassist Linda Lay and guitarist David Lay. A rarity to be sure, Linda Lay boasts a voice as lovely as it is affecting, sublime and stirring by turns. With the inspired but unfussy support provided by her husband and McLaughlin -- plus two guests, fiddler Rickie Simpkins and pedal steel guitarist Rickie Davis -- she evokes her Carter Family country roots amid vintage string-band sounds that still ring untrendy and true. Contributing to the band's repertoire is a wide variety of gifted tunesmiths, including Tom T. Hall, Hazel Dickens and Greg Brown, but the performances are uniformly sung and performed in ways that will set your clock back decades.


Linda Lay can also be heard on two additional new recordings. "Linda's Mercantile Store," a splendid showcase for her interpretative skills, is largely devoted to familiar country and folk songs, including the Hank Williams classic "Mansion on the Hill," Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again" and Tom Paxton's "Last Thing on My Mind." Frequently graced by Dudley Connell's guitar work, the performances are honest, heartfelt and, in light of what passes for country music these days, thoroughly refreshing.

The Stony Point Quartet finds Lay, McLaughlin, Connell and bass vocalist Billy Lux reviving a collection of southern hymns on its debut CD, "Band of Angels." Connell, also a former Johnson Mountain Boy and a current member of the Seldom Scene, shares the lead vocals with Lay, and it's a role for which he is perfectly cast -- check out the moving renditions of "Drifting Too Far From the Shore" and "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand" for ample proof. Punctuating the frequent admonitions and resonant harmonies is some fine picking as well, thanks to McLaughlin's inspired handiwork on guitar and mandolin.

All of these recordings are part of an intriguing 15-disc collection of roots music produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts for the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store chain.


-- Mike Joyce - Washington Post Lifestyle


"LINDA LAY – “THE HAPPINESS OF HAVING YOU”"

Mountain Fever Records is honored to share the worldwide release of the brand new single by Linda Lay, “The Happiness of Having You!” Listeners may remember her clear vocals from her time in Appalachian Trail and Springfield Exit, or from her recordings with husband, David Lay. Linda tells us about her experience with the song, “From the first time I heard this song it spoke to me and I could not get it out of my head. The song is about a relationship with your loved one and I am fortunate to have this kind of love with my husband. I hope it touches you as much as it has me. We all deserve happiness in our lives.” “The Happiness of Having You” was first made famous by Charlie Pride. This fresh version features the talents of Linda Lay (lead vocal and bass), David Lay (low tenor vocal and guitar), Sammy Shelor (banjo), Darren Beachley (baritone vocal and dobro), Aaron Ramsey (mandolin), and Bryan McDowell (fiddle). - Syntax Creative


"SPRINGFIELD EXIT, THAT WAS THEN"

Patuxent Music
Patuxent CD-268

Having three former members of the ultra-traditional Johnson Mountain Boys would seem to indicate that Springfield Exit might follow suit. While David McLaughlin, Tom Adams, and Marshall Wilborn do tilt it in the traditional direction at times, particularly McLaughlin’s Monroe-style mandolin, the ultimate product has more to do with a softer, gentler approach than the hard-driving roar of JMB. For every mournful “Lonesome Wind” from Buzz Busby’s catalogue or the honky-tonk stylings of Wilborn’s “That Was Then And This Is Now,” there is a folk-tempered tune such as “No One Knows” and “Still My Thoughts Go Back To You.” Countering the old-time edge of “Elkhorn Ridge,” with McLaughlin on clawhammer, is the lyrical flow of Chris Brashear’s “Listen To Me Mother.” Throw in “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” the Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” and Don Williams’ “Till The Rivers All Run Dry” and a pattern is forming.

Motivating and focusing the band’s sound are lead vocalist Linda Lay and guitarist/harmony vocalist David Lay. Mostly, it’s Linda. She has a wonderful voice, one that is very expressive. At times, she makes a good run at the bluesy side on the aforementioned Busby tune and the title tune, but she seems more comfortable with a lighter approach. As a result, the band adjusts accordingly, lightening up and pulling back to support that strength, as it should be. You should always play to the strength of the singer.

All that said, this is a good and well-rendered album. They’ve made sure to cover as wide a spectrum as possible, including the anthem declaration of Ola Belle and Bud Reed’s “I’ve Endured” and the standard “Some Old Day,” and they’ve managed to craft a highly-distinct band sound and carry it through from track to track. (Patuxent Music, P.O. Box 572, Rockville, MD 20648, www.pxrec.com.)BW - Bluegrass Unlimited


"That Was Then – Springfield Exit"

One of my biggest gripes as a lover of bluegrass music is to hear terrific picking and singing on a CD only to hear that the band in question can’t replicate that sound – or even come close – on the stage.

Such bands would do themselves – and their fans – a great service by listening to Springfield Exit’s exquisite CD, That Was Then, and following its lead. There are no triple fiddles, no over-the-top production, no all-star pickers standing in for the band’s regular members. Just top-notch musicianship and sublime harmonies across the board.

Of course, Springfield Exit isn’t just any band. The marriage of three former members of the Johnson Mountain Boys and two from the much-loved Virginia band, Appalachian Trail, makes for some great listening.

Each instrument is played with authority, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise from a unit that features a three-time IBMA banjo player of the year (Tom Adams), four-time bass player of the year (Marshall Wilborn) and a guy who masters just about anything with strings (David McLaughlin). And don’t overlook some fine rhythm guitar work from David Lay.

But the real highlight here is the singing, especially the lead vocals of Linda Lay. She doesn’t have the following of those who are regularly nominated for awards, but she certainly has the chops. She sings with comfort and authority across a range of musical styles, sliding from tender ballad to growling blues with ease. From the opening notes of No One Knows to the swing of That Was Then and This Is Now (written by Wilborn) and the folk-rocky Peaceful Easy Feeling (popularized by the Eagles), Lay keeps the listener locked on her every word.
The best of the best in this collection is a cover of the Don Williams’ classic, Till The Rivers All Run Dry. There’s not an extra note or frill to be found. From first listen, and through dozens more, I’ve found Lay’s interpretation even more compelling than the original. Don’t be surprised to hear this one all over bluegrass radio.

Another favorite is Bob Dylan’s You Ain’t Going Nowhere. Wilborn is such a rock-steady bass player that it’s easy to overlook his aw-shucks vocals, especially when he has spent much of career in bands with terrific singers – first his wife Lynn Morris and now Linda Lay. His vocal here, the only song Linda doesn’t take the lead on, is fun and comfortable and though often recorded, the take is fresh and interesting. - Bluegrass Today


"SPRINGFIELD EXIT"

Cracker Barrel's 500 stores now have listening stations equipped with headphones where you can hear selections from their catalog of heritage albums that span bluegrass to Celtic, country to Cajun, and Native American to traditional jazz. Launched in collaboration with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the label celebrates regionally-inspired traditional music.

In 2002, East Tennessee country singer Linda Lay put out an especially pleasant package of classic country favorites called “Linda's Mercantile Store” (CB-101). Successful shows and rave reviews in support of that album led to the trio of Linda and David Lay, along with David McLaughlin, to stay together as a band called Springfield Exit. Guests include Rickie Simpkins (fiddle) and Ricky Davis (pedal steel).

Raised in Bristol, Virginia, Linda Lay was singing on stage with her father and uncles by the time she was only six. She and her husband used to perform with the band, Appalachian Trail, and they now have a vegetable farm and country store in the Goshen Valley of Tennessee. She sings and plays acoustic bass. David Lay is a talented harmony singer and solid rhythm guitar player. From east Tennessee, he has traveled extensively and has beena featured guitarist with the Masters of the Steel String Guitar. A full-time musician since 1978, David McLaughlin was a founding member of The Johnson Mountain Boys, a group twice nominated for a Grammy Award. He has played the Grand Ole Opry, the White House, Carnegie Hall, and on TNN. In the mid-1990s, he was with the country and folk duo, Crowe & McLaughlin. McLaughlin plays several instruments and sings harmony with Springfield Exit.

Springfield Exit's instrumental prowess, singing, and song selection make for a pleasant experience. “Miss Linda” has a magnetic voice, and she has an affinity for singing stories about life drawn from the pens of Tom T. and Dixie Hall, Dolly Parton, Hazel Dickens, Don Williams, Greg Brown, Dale Ann Bradley and Vicki Simmons, and others. Springfield Exit's country cookin' primarily simmers on a burner of slower to moderate tempos with toe-tapping rhythms. While certainly not bluegrass in its truest sense, the band has a relaxed and comfortable commercial sound with classic country sensibilities. Linda sings powerfully and with good vocal control. Songs are nicely arranged and are tastefully delivered. Springfield Exit will bring many hours of listening enjoyment to fans of acoustic country music with light percussion and pedal steel. (Joe Ross) - Jigtime- Joe Ross


Discography

  • Happiness of Having You     Mtn Fever 2020
  • That Was Then                     Patuxent 2015
  • Crooked Road                       VFHCR 2007
  • Stoney Point Quartet            Cracker Barrel 2003
  • Springfield Exit                      Cracker Barrel 2003
  • Linda's Mercantile                 Cracker Barrel 2002

Photos

Bio

Linda Clayman Lay grew up in Clayman Valley, a tiny community named after her family outside of Bristol, Tennessee. She grew up surrounded by music in a family that treasured tunes, from old-time and bluegrass to gospel and traditional country. Her father, mandolinist Jack Clayman, formed a family band with Linda and his family, taking them to the places where the local musicians gathered, jammed, and performed. Linda spent a lot of Saturdays Carter Family Fold, a barn-like performing place, at the Carter home place at Hiltons in Scott County, a few miles west of Clayman Valley. Here she got to know Jeanette and Joe Carter, son and daughter of A.P. and Sara Carter of the original Carter Family. The Fold was one of the places Linda enjoyed going to flatfoot dance, but her father soon had her performing on guitar, and she later learned bass from the local fiddling barber, Gene Boyd. She also took up and mastered the autoharp. Linda later founded and led Appalachian Trail, an innovative bluegrass band that performed for more than 20 years. In Appalachian Trail, Linda truly found her voice, becoming not just the band’s lead singer but one of the most beloved singers in bluegrass. During her years touring with Appalachian Trail, she met the gifted guitar player and singer—and her future husband—David Lay. David encouraged Linda to venture out to tour with other musicians, and today when she plays he is always beside her. 

After putting their stamp on several of Cracker Barrel's Heritage Series CDs in the early 2000s, Linda and David performed a number shows with the brilliant mandolinist and former Johnson Mountain Boy David McLaughlin. At some of their first concerts at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and at the Lowell Folk Festival, they received standing ovations and rave reviews. In 2020 Springfield exit added Darren Beachley on Dobro and recently signed with Mountain Fever Records. Linda is excited to be working with Mark Hodges and his crew.  They have worked hard getting her first single out to radio and making great progress on finishing the recording.  Linda said, "It is phenomenal to work with engineer, Aaron Ramsey, and to be able to create such a diverse recording.  Mark and his staff work hard to promote their artist and I could no be happier to be included with such a great roster of musicians and bands."

Band Members