LOU REID & CAROLINA, “My Own Set of Rules,” Rural Rhythm. 13 tracks.

Most musicians have a hard time working in one nationally touring bluegrass band. But Lou Reid is in three.

He plays mandolin and sings tenor in the Seldom Scene, performs with the supergroup Longview and fronts his own band, Carolina. And he’s been successful with all three.

Reid was a founding member of Doyle Lawson’s Quicksilver 30 years ago when he was 25. But he had already been active in bluegrass for more than six years by then.

Reid moved on to spend four years in Ricky Skaggs’ band during its country phase and then moved to the Seldom Scene. After six years, he moved on to work with some traditional country artists and then, in 1992, formed Carolina with Terry Baucom.

Baucom left after a couple of years and, in 1997, Reid disbanded Carolina and rejoined the Scene. But a year later, he brought it back, continuing to work in both bands.

And fans are glad he did.

“My Own Set of Rules” continues the band’s traditional sound with new material.

The only song from the first-generation of bluegrass is Carter Stanley’s “She’s More To Be Pitied,” which gives Christy Reid (Lou’s wife) a chance showcase her own vocal prowess.

The album’s first track, “Amanda Lynn,” is a pun about a girl named for the instrument whose sound her cry resembles.

There’s a lot of good bluegrass gospel here — the a capella “It’s Hard To Stumble (When You’re Down On Your Knees),” “Daddy Tried,” “John In The Jordan,” “Mama” and “Over In The Promised Land.”

“Beat The Train” is an instrumental that lives up to its name. And “A Tall Cornstalk” — probably the only song ever written about a stalk of corn — gives the band another instrumental workout between verses.

One picky point: Shannon Slaughter’s “Blueridge Girl” is a new song. Yet it finds a man who has found wealth and fame out west riding a train back to Virginia in hopes that the girl he loves is still waiting.

This is the 21st century. Surely they have telephones in the Blue Ridge mountains these days. And planes are faster ways to travel if you’re trying to connect with an old love.

Another strong album from a good band.

Can’t find it in stores? Try www.ruralrhythm.com.

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