Finding the Way
Lonesome River Band(SHCD-3884)
Sugar Hill Records, Inc.
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by
The Lonesome River Band just might be the Beatles, the Garth Brooks or the Pavarottis of bluegrass. Their albums reflect an energy, a drive, and a precision that can be admired by everyone who appreciates good music. Known individually as some of the best musicians in contemporary bluegrass, they seem to jump at the chance to play together as a group to the benefit of bluegrass fans everywhere.
While retaining the feel and quality of traditional bluegrass, they provide a contemporary touch at the same time. Their concert and festival appearances are consistently powerful and well received. Alison Krauss notwithstanding, the Lonesome River Band is locked, loaded and ready to be the link between bluegrass and mainstream music lovers.
FINDING THE WAY is yet another great work from this stellar group. There is always the suspicion when something new comes from these guys that it might not match the quality of their previous work. FINDING THE WAY is as good as their previous recordings, if not a cut above. As fine as the solo albums of Sammy Shelor (LEADING ROLL, my second favorite banjo album ever), Don Rigsby (A VISION), Kenny Smith (STUDEBAKER) and Ronnie Bowman (MAN I'M TRYIN' TO BE) are, these folks are at their best playing together. It's a deadly combination: Shelor's driving banjo, the blend of Bowman's and Rigsby's voices, and Kenny Baker's solid work on guitar.
Joined by fiddler Jason Carter and Dobro guru Jerry Douglas, FINDING THE WAY is a collection of original and contemporary songs. Ralph Stanley's Sweet Sally Brown and the traditional fiddle piece, Devil Chased Me Around The Stump fit right alongside such great new pieces as Up On The Shelf, Let It Go and Don't Worry 'Bout Daddy.
FINDING THE WAY once again has the Lonesome River Band raising the bar for those of us who enjoy playing bluegrass music. An interesting title, considering it comes from a band that is leading the way. I can't wait to see what these guys do next.
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Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz (firstname.lastname@example.org)