Burlington native Lisa Manning left the confines of the small town and made her way to Nashville. Today Lisa makes a living as a fiddler and vocalist in Whispering Bill Anderson's band but the former North Carolina resident is also an accomplished songwriter which is borne out in her 2009 CD Gravel Road - a tour de force of old style fiddling and stalwart bluegrass vocals.
Ten of the twelve songs included on this wonderful album were written by Lisa and seven of those were co-written with her husband Derek Deakins who is also a renowned fiddle player in his own right having played with the Osborne Brothers and also Blake Shelton.
For Gravel Road Lisa pooled the talents of several other bluegrass genre greats for both playing and singing duties. Former Shenandoah front man Marty Raybon provides lead vocals on "You'll Come Back On Your Own" while Blake Shelton lends a hand with lead vocals on "The Tractor Song." Bluegrass phenom Cia Cherryholmes also lends her vocal talents with a turn on lead for "Forecast of My Heart."
Lisa handles fiddle duties or harmony fiddle on all twelve songs and provides harmony vocals on the three aforementioned tunes as well as "While We Can," "Smiling Down On You," "Black Raven," and "What Could've Been" and with the exception of the three instrumentals - "Climbin' the Castle," "Piper's Reel," and "Stop-N-Chat" Lisa's delightful voice takes the lead.
Gravel Road is an incredible album that exemplifies the very best of a modern bluegrass