RUSSELL MOORE & IIIRD TYME OUT, “Prime Tyme,” Rural Rhythm. 14 tracks

“Prime Tyme” is IIIrd Tyme Out’s 16th album in 20 years. It was released at the end of October and is already listed in Billboard’s Top 10 bluegrass albums.

The first single, “If Your Heart Should Ever Roll This Way Again,” is No. 8 on this month’s Bluegrass Unlimited singles chart.

That’s about what you’d expect from one of the premier bands in bluegrass today.

Russell Moore, the lead singer who added his name to the band’s a couple of years ago, is a three-time International Bluegrass Music Association male vocalist of the year. And the band was IBMA vocal group of the year for seven straight years.

The song selection is broad enough to cover bluegrass’ traditional base in the Southeast (“Pretty Little Girl From Galax”) and expand into areas not usually mentioned in bluegrass lyrics — Montana (“Goodbye Old Missoula”) and Nebraska (“What’s This World Coming To”), a song about struggling farmers and the economy.

“Hooverville” tells a story from the Great Depression about a World War I veteran marching on Washington, trying to get his promised bonus.

There are songs of nostalgia (“Old Kentucky Farmer”), songs of loneliness (“Whippoorwill” and “Little Magnolia”) and songs of hard times (“Big Muddy”).

The Delmore Brothers’ “Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar” finds a man dying and wishing he could take his guitar with him.

“Moon Magic” is a bouncy tune about a couple sitting in the moonlight. And “Dusty” finds a man remembering that the woman he loves could have had more successful men, but she chose him.

Good album by a good band.

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