Rounder Records Corp.
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price
Longview is more that just a small logging town in southwest Washington state. It's the latest and hottest bluegrass supergroup, featuring Dudley Connell (from Seldom Scene), Glen Duncan (Lonesome Standard Time), James King (James King Band, Clinch Mountain Boys), Don Rigsby (Lonesome River Band), Joe Mullins (Traditional Grass) and Marshall Wilborn (Lynn Morris Band), and it's the title of the group's first album.
When an all star cast like this gets together, the possibility exists that a complacent, laid back recording will result. The possibility also exists that the end result will be a continuous string of individual performances. Patooey to that-- Longview sounds like a band who has worked together for years. The harmonies are right on, and the instrumental arrangements provide each player a chance to showcase his considerable skill against a strong solid musical back ground. Despite their impressive individual accomplishments, the sum is still greater than each of the parts.
Playing straight ahead bluegrass, Longview mixes uptempo tunes (It's Goodbye and So Long To You), lonesome ballads (Hemlocks and Pale Riders) and gospel (Brighter Mansion). The album opens and closes at breakneck speed, starting with I've Never Been So Lonesome and closing with The Train Carried My Girl From Town. Your metronome doesn't beep fast enough to keep up with these tunes. Its a bigger wake-up call than a triple shot of espresso. Glen Duncan gives a dead-on impression of Mr. Monroe in the finale, sounding like a spirit from afar heading home on the last train.
Response to this project has already spawned talk of a tour and a second album. If they get within 500 miles of my home town, I'm there. People will talk about this recording twenty years from now as a real look at where traditional bluegrass was in the late 1990s. From the sound of this album, it's in a pretty good place.
Edited by Kerry Dexter