• James Harvey

Album Review - Mama Ain’t Dead - Mama Ain’t Dead -2020


Mama Ain’t Dead - Mama Ain’t Dead


Another random Amazon Music find, ‘Mama Ain’t Dead’ caught my curiosity with their band name and self-title debut album.

Mama Ain’t Dead is comprised of:

Betsy Heron - Fiddle, Banjo, Bass, Vocals

Brianna Green - Fiddle, Guitar, Bass, Vocals

Scott Heron - Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Vocals

Tim Cackett - Mandolin, Guitar, Bass, Vocals

Their ten track self-produced debut album ‘Mama Ain’t Dead’ is, on its surface, a good old-fashioned Bluegrass / American Roots sound, yet there is a fresh, clean, modern edge to it. The best way I can think to describe it, is that feeling you get when gathered around the firepit on a summers evening, with friends and loved ones, just kicking back and sipping on a few ciders.



Right from the opening track ‘Time to Kill’, we find the stories of misfortune, misadventures and missed chances, with that tongue in cheek humour, one would expect from an American Bluegrass band. Yet, there is an underlining trace of hope, of getting up and moving on, despite all the mud, life throws your way.


Mama Ain’t Dead’s album is, for me at least, about finding fun, happiness and hope from said hardship. It’s self-reflecting in the sarcastic way that folks from rural communities across America, share with the North West of England; it seems to be embedded in their genes (myself included, coming from a tiny village in Cumbria).



This brings me full circle to my point at the beginning; after the album has finished, you are left with a lingering image of firepit sing-alongs or the good spirited, alcohol fuelled barn dances that take place on farms in villages, away from the prying eyes and ears of those pesky townies. For those of us, who have been to the odd barn dance in our time, we are left with a longing for those simpler times. For those that have never had that experience, the album is a glimpse into that life.

This is a strong debut that paves the way for, hopefully, a lot more from Mama Ain’t Dead. Ten tracks just ain’t enough (bad pun, sorry) from such a talented and inspiring group of musicians. For now, the best way to cope with this, is to get out the homemade wine, light up the fire, gather your friends around and play the album all night long. Laughing and dancing till the sun comes up and then a wee bit beyond!


You can find out more information, videos and tour dates on their website.



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