Mark Stoffel Turns a Gospel Classic into a Glistening Instrumental

Mark Stoffel

Acclaimed for his polished style and compositional depth, mandolinist Mark Stoffel has already released two distinctive originals ("Curious Times" and "Barnyard Funk") since his last full-length project, Coffee And Cake (2020). Now the long-time member of Chris Jones & the Night Drivers is back with a third single, and this time, it's a glistening instrumental version of the beloved bluegrass gospel classic, "I'm Using My Bible for a Road Map."

First recorded by its writer, Don Reno, and his longtime musical partner, Red Smiley, in 1952, "I'm Using My Bible for a Road Map" is among the most widely recorded numbers in the bluegrass canon. But though it's a long time favorite, it's been offered only once before in an instrumental version, by the award-winning resonator guitar trio of Mike AuldridgeJerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. But where that all-star group served up a legato reading that featured only their three instruments, Stoffel has opted for a fuller, if no less relaxed take that backs his deliciously elegant approach with an impeccable rhythm section and a couple of well-known friends - including, in a fitting nod to the song's legacy, a return appearance by Ickes.  

Says Stoffel, "Years ago, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers were booked to play a Sunday morning show at the Blueberry Music Festival in Stony Plain, Alberta. I suggested we add 'I'm Using My Bible for a Road Map' to the setlist because I just love the simple beauty of this Reno & Smiley classic. I was lucky enough to record my version with Chris Luquette on guitar, Ross Sermons on bass, Tony Creasman on drums, Rob Ickes on dobro, Niall Murphy on fiddle, and Alan Bibey on mandolin. Alan contributed a super tasteful mandolin twin part on the last go-around of the tune. Check it out - I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed recording it!"

Listen to "I'm Using My Bible for a Road Map" HERE.



Tags : Mark Stoffel I'm Using My Bible for a Road Map Chris Jones & The Night Drivers Bluegrass Gospel

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