When guitarist Charlie Sizemore
stepped down as lead singer of Ralph Stanley
's Clinch Mountain Boys in 1986, he'd spent 9 of his 25 years in the band. In the realm of bluegrass that's known as good breeding, and he's built on those early lessons as a leader of his own group—even after an eight-year hiatus during which he earned a law degree. When Sizemore returned to performing in 2006 he sounded as sharp and original as ever, combining the soft-edged tone of much modern-country singing with hard-core but unflashy picking. He didn't write any of the 14 songs on last year's Heartache Looking for a Home
(Rounder), but he makes every one sound like he did, whether it's Tom T. Hall's classic "Pay No Attention to Alice
" or the Alan Jackson obscurity "Walking the Floor Over Me"—and he even pokes fun at his other gig on "No Lawyers in Heaven
." —Peter Margasak Jim Craig opens.