VOLUME FIVE, “Milestones,” Mountain Fever, 12 tracks

Posted June 4, 2018 by klawrence
Categories: Uncategorized


Volume Five is celebrating its 10th anniversary of playing traditional bluegrass with a new album, “Milestones.”

Last year, the International Bluegrass Music Association named Volume Five as its emerging band of the year and voted its “I Am A Drifter” as the song of the year for 2017.

And the new album is as strong as the ones that came before it.

“Just Beyond The Window” is an uptempo tale of a man who caught his wife cheating and made her and her lover disappear.

“Looks Like Losing You” is about a man who realizes that the woman he loves will soon be leaving him.

“Hayley” finds a man in prison for attacking the man who hurt a woman he loves.

“Now That’s A Song” is about a man and woman in love sitting in the same front porch swing that his grandparents sat in years ago.

There’s a good bluegrass cover of Credence Clearwater Revival‘s 1970 hit, “Looking Out My Backdoor.”

“North Dakota” tells the story of a man and woman pioneering in North Dakota, freezing and hungry — but she never complains.

“Poet With Wings” is about a drifter still searching for something he can’t find.

“I’ll Turn My Back” finds a man leaving home.

“Tell Me You’re Not Leaving” is about a man wishing he had treated the woman he loves better when he had the chance.

“The Lonesome Cry of the Whippoorwill” is about a lonely man dreading sunset when he hears the lonesome sound of a whippoorwill each evening.

And “Stoney Hill” is about the graveyard where the woman he loves is buried.”

Can’t find it in stores? Try https://volumefivebg.com/merchandise


DAVE ADKINS, “Right or Wrong,” Mountain Fever. 10 tracks

Posted May 29, 2018 by klawrence
Categories: Uncategorized

Pikeville, Kentucky, native Dave Adkins began performing at 8 and was playing bluegrass at Dollywood by the time he was 17.

From there, he worked in country music and later in rock in the Chicago area.

But Adkins returned to bluegrass in 2010 and has found continued success there through the years.

His new album, “Right or Wrong,” has already produced a couple of hits — “Blood Feud (Hatfileds and McCoys)” and “I Can Only Imagine,” a bluegrass cover of Mercy Me‘s Christian rock hit.

And there’s a lot more good material on the album.

It kicks off with “Blue Blue Rain,” an uptempo song about loneliness and pain.

“Goodbye Caroline” is a ballad about a man leaving with no destination in mind.

“Him and West Virginia” tells the story of a woman who left her man and home to move to California — and then discovers that she was happier at home.

“Roll Little River” is an uptempo chain gang song.

“Cold In The Ground” finds a man admitting that his demons will get the best of him until he’s dead.

“True Love’s Just A Lie” is about a man who discovers that the woman he love loves someone else.

“Tired of Lonesome” is about a woman who leaves her husband because she’s tired of being lonely.

And the title track is about determining if you’ve lived your life the way you should.

Good album.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try DaveAdkinsMusic.com


TROUBLESOME HOLLOW, “Old School,” Fat Dog. 17 tracks.

Posted May 14, 2018 by klawrence
Categories: Uncategorized

If you’re looking for hard-core bluegrass — something that’s getting harder to find every year — look no farther than Troublesome Hollow‘s “Old School.”

It is definitely old-school bluegrass.

Brothers Donnie and Garry Ollis formed the band in 1976 and Tim White came aboard two years later.

They broke up in 1997.

Now, they’re back together again with an album featuring seven original songs and 10 older songs.

Two songs from the early ’90s — “Five Pounds of Possum” and “Possum on the Run” — add humor.

But bluegrass leans more toward heartache and pain.

“Penny Song” and “Jimmy Brown” find children struggling to survive in a cold world.

“Speak Softly,” “Lonesome Feeling,” “Forever More,” “Sittin’ on Top of the Blues,” “Portrait of the Blues,” “Over Yonder in the Graveyard” and “Goin’ Home” all are about trials and tribulations.

“True Love,” however, finds the singer finally happily in love.

This is hard-driving bluegrass with a little Americana on the side.

Can’t find it in stores? Try Amazon.com.


FLASHBACK, “Denver Snow,” Pinecastle. 12 tracks

Posted May 7, 2018 by klawrence
Categories: Uncategorized


Flashback is a super group formed in 2015, when members of J.D. Crowe‘s 1995 band decided to reunite to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1995 Grammy-nominated album “Flashback.”

They went on tour with Crowe for a few dates.

But Crowe decided to go back to retirement.

The other three — Don Rigsby, Richard Bennett and Curt Chapman — decided that they wanted to keep the group together.

So they hired Stuart Wyrick to play banjo in Crowe’s stead.

Last year, they released “Foxhounds & Fiddles,” an album that charted several bluegrass singles.

“Denver Snow,” the latest album, continues the sound they perfected more than 20 years ago.

“Moonshine” is an uptempo song that celebrates rural life.

The title cut is about a woman whose smile kept a man warm until her love for him died in the mountains.

“A Rose from Time to Time” finds a man saying good-bye to a woman but promising to send her a rose occasionally.

“Cowboys and Indians” is an uptempo instrumental.

“It Won’t Be Like Cheating” is about a man who’s been cheated on and is leaving town.

There are covers of James Taylor‘s “One Morning in May,” the Osborne Brothers‘ “Take This Hammer” and “Born To Be With You,” a 1956 pop hit for the Chordettes and a 1968 country hit for Sonny James.

“Without Mentioning Your Name” and “I’ll Be True To The One I Love” are both about a secret love.

“The Letter” tells the story of a letter found in the pocket of a dead homeless man.

And “We Might Get A Little Loud” is about a church where the members shout their love of God.

Good picking. Good singing. Good album.

Can’t find it in stores?

Try https://fbband.com/album/733266/denver-snow


ROE FAMILY SINGERS, “Songs of the Mountains, Songs of the Plains,” Pinecastle. 15 tracks.

Posted April 30, 2018 by klawrence
Categories: Uncategorized


Think all music these days sounds the same?

Wanting an album that sounds different from all the rest?

Then, try the Roe Family Singers.

“Songs of the Mountains, Songs of the Plains” doesn’t sound like anything else you’re likely to hear.

I mean, how many albums these days feature an autoharp, musical saw, washboard, jug and kazoo among the instruments played?

Not to mention Appalachian clogging.

The Roe Family Singers are Kim and Quillan Roe and seven friends who play a wide variety of instruments.

Some of these songs have been around for generations.

The liner notes says  “Pretty Fair Maid in the Garden” dates back to 1822.

“Ida Red” has been around since 1915 and “Ol’ Rattler” since 1919.

Then, there’s A.P. Carter’s “Dixie Darling” and “Sweet Fern.”

And Albert Brumley’s “Rank Strangers.”

These are old songs.

But the Roe Family Singers make them sound fresh again.

And Quillan Roe has even written songs that sound as old as the traditional numbers.

“O Young Lovers,” “John the  Messenger,” “Peter Tosh,” “I’m Falling For You” and “The Road is Rocky” all sound as old as the hills and the plains.

There’s a Bill Monroe song — “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine” — and a Woody Guthrie song — “This Land is Your Land.”

Chances are you’ve heard all but the original numbers dozens of times.

But you’ve never heard them quite like this.

No, it’s not really bluegrass.

It’s sort of  pre-bluegrass.

But you might want to check it out at http://www.RoeFamilySingers.com starting May 4.

It’s probably the only album this year that includes the Affordable Care Act among its “Thank Yous.”

BALSAM RANGE, “Mountain Overture,” Mountain Home. 10 tracks.

Posted April 23, 2018 by klawrence
Categories: Uncategorized

Balsam Range has joined with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble for a greatest hits album.

It sounds great.

But you have to wonder about the target audience.

Do bluegrass fans really want an orchestra backing the band?

And do orchestra fans really want bluegrass with their pops ensemble?

With a cello, flute, French horn, trumpet, trombone and drums, it would be a stretch to call this a bluegrass album.

But whatever you call it, it’s good.

Songs include “Trains I Missed,” the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Association’s song of the year.

“Blue Mountain” is a ballad about a man who’s been searching the country, trying to find out who he really is, but discovering that he left his soul with the woman he left behind.

“Eldorado Blue” is about a woman who married and settled in her hometown rather than follow her friends to the big city.

“From A Georgia Battlefield” and “Burning Georgia Down” are songs about the Civil War.

“Any Old Road (Will Take You There)” says if you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter which road you take to get there.

“Jack Diamond” is about a man setting out to kill the people who murdered his family and left him for dead.

“Matthew” is a John Denver song about a man who survived life’s traumas with faith and love.

“Last Train To Kitty Hawk” is about the birth of aviation, the demise of railroads and the changes that progress brings.

And “I Hear The Mountains” is about a man who hears his home calling him back.

A good album for fans with a loose interpretation of bluegrass.

Can’t find it in stores? Try amazon.com.


SIDELINE, “Moves Front & Center,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks

Posted April 2, 2018 by klawrence
Categories: Uncategorized


Sideline began as a recording project for musicians who were working in other bands.

A sideline, if you will.

But in 2013, it became a full-time band –moving front and center, as the new Mountain Home album says in its title.

The lineup for this album includes Steve Dilling, Jason Moore, Skip Cherryholmes, Nathan Aldridge, Troy Boone and Bailey Coe.

The album kicks off with “Thunder Dan,” an uptempo song about a mountain man who kills a preacher, is sentenced to 40 years in prison, shoots a deputy and escapes.

“Frozen In Time” is a ballad about a man who returns to his childhood after 40 years to find it gone — but still standing in his memory.

“Old Time Way” is hoe-down music.

Gordon Lightfoot‘s “Song For A Winter’s Night” finds the singer missing a woman as he settles in for a cold winter night.

“Bluefield WV Mtn. Girl” is about a woman a man can always count on.

“I Long To See His Face” and “Satan’s Chains” are gospel songs.

“Lysander Hayes” is an uptempo song about a man who lives to party — while his mother prays for his soul.

“Memories That We Shared” is a ballad about a man who can’t seem to erase the happy memories that haunt him now.

“Something Out of Nothing” says that no matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone love you.

“All Because of Me” is an uptempo song about a man who kills a woman because she loves someone else.

And “Cotton Eyed Joe” is a blazing instrumental.

The only label you need to put on this album is bluegrass.

Pure and simple.

Look for it on April 27.