NU-BLU, “Nights,” Red Squared. 12 tracks.

North Carolina-based Nu-Blu has had a roller-coaster year.

Last October, during the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual convention in Nashville, Pinecastle Records signed the band to a recording contract.

But before the band’s first album could be released, Pinecastle closed its doors.

Fortunately for fans, Nu-Blu has released the album and its first single — “Spin on a Red Brick Floor” — on its own.

The single, written by Nanci Griffith, is about life on the road and wanting to be with the one you love.

Nu-Blu is centered around Daniel and Carolyn Routh, a couple whose musical background ranges from Broadway-style musicals to gospel, country, blues and classic rock.

When the bluegrass bug bit, they formed Nu-Blu in 2003. That fall, Carolyn suffered two strokes that slowed the band’s development and nearly ended her career before it moved to the national stage.

Kendall Gales and Levi Austin round out the band, which describes itself as giving “the listener a diverse experience, while remaining within the realms of bluegrass.”

Greg Luck, who co-produced the album with Carolyn Routh, adds his fiddle to the mix. The band really needs to consider adding a fiddle player for the future.

The Rouths co-wrote two songs — “In and Out of Love,” and “How Do I Move On.”

Daniel Routh co-wrote “My Sweet Carolyn” with Austin and sings lead on it. 

But Carolyn Routh, who has a voice you’ll want to hear more of, is the band’s lead singer.

One of the best songs on the album is “Old Black Suit,” a song about an old man looking at the suit he’s worn for all special occasions since his wedding at 22 and now he’s planning to wear it one last time.

A cynic might say that’s one heck of suit. But whether anyone could wear the same suit that many years or not, it’s a good song.

The title cut, written by Donna Hughes, is about missing someone who has died.

“I know that heaven’s glad to have you,” Carolyn Routh sings, “but I sure wish you were here.”

It’s a feeling most people have experienced.

A good album by a good new band.

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