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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bluegrass! Bluegrass! Bluegrass! Bluegrass!

Chigger Hill Boys & Terri - Indescribable (2012)

Although for outsiders all bluegrass bands sounds the same, those four different Bluegrass records still don't represent the whole spectrum of bluegrass. Chigger Hill Boys & Terri, they are from Hendersonville, Tennessee, and they are worshiping God in every of their songs. In my opinion, they are doing it more successfully when Terri sings (she has that high lonesome quality in her singing!) and thank God she is singing 
on almost every track. This is Gospel record intended for Christian public and as such, it fulfills it's purpose, but outside of this territory it won't be recognized as important or entertaining.

Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass - The Road into Town (2012)

The next of kin to the late Bob Paisley, his son Danny (born in  Landenberg, Pennsylvania, 1959) is still keeping the fire of traditional bluegrass. Always inside the coordinates of the genre, but with all ingredients brought to perfection, every member of his band is offspring of bluegrass player including Danny's son Ryan who is picking mandolin with his father. If you have already heard hundreds of bluegrass records, this one won't shake your world, but if you've heard only few (and you like it), this could be one of your all-time favorites!

Town Mountain - Leave the Bottle (2012)

They are from Ashville, North Carolina, and they are the second band from Ashville I'm writing about. The first were The Honeycutters, one of the best country bands in my own alternative reality (other 99% of people have never heard about them), the second, Town Mountain are relatively new (this is their 4th album), deeply drowned into tradition, but open to new influences. Unlike notorious Punch Brothers who are trying to graft bluegrass and jazz looking pretentious and "clever" but loosing heartfeltness in the process, our heroes are melting honky-tonk, gospel and even surf-rock into bluegrass, leaving original feeling intact but adding some refreshing spices. Nice listening!

The Coloradas - The Coloradas (2011)

The nucleus of Coloradas are Roy Davis and Bernie Nye, songwriting pair accompanied with a bunch of well-known musicians from Portland, Maine, playing their version of bluegrass (or rather This is the most acceptable record for modern audience of all presented here. The Coloradas have their focus on songwriting, and remarkable songs they have indeed. From the starter Mysery ("Mysery, mysery, give me back my money, mysery") to the last song Enid ("Enid, the ghost is gone, wash those ashes off your face..."), the atmosphere is dark, the themes are gloomy, the light on the end of the tunnel could be seen only on the cover. Demo quality of the recording is just adding some more rough edges to the music, but, despite all that, for me, this is by far the best of these four CD's. Both songwriters are well worth following, specially Roy Davis. Can't wait to see what will be the trigger for catapulting them into the spotlight (if this ever happens!). In my alternative reality they are already torchbearers!