A review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Matt Nozzolio
Without entering the eternal "What is Bluegrass?" debate, suffice it to say that this collection is more likely to appeal to fans of contemporary folk music. It may also appeal to those whose bluegrass tastes aren't bound by the traditional sound of the Stanley Brothers or Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys.
The instrumentalists are solid but not flashy, which is in keeping with the softer edge tone throughout the recording. Among the high spots of "Oliver's Quiet" are the instrumentals: "Grizzlies on the Kenai" and "Woodpecker on the Porch", both written by Nev Jackson. "Grizzlies on the Kenai" is akin to "Monroe's Jerusalem Ridge", while "Woodpecker on the Porch" runs through some nifty chord changes.
"Oliver's Quiet" showcases Jackson's songwriting skills, particularly "Strange Fire", a powerful telling of a biblical tale. The title cut simply and poignantly deals with the plight of a family farm.
The recording and mixing of both instruments and vocals is well-balanced. The electric bass is not overpowering, which can sometimes be the case with some bands.
[Edited by: Lee Rademacher (firstname.lastname@example.org)]