PERT NEAR SANDSTONE, “Paradise Hop,” Pert Near Music. 14 tracks

Minneapolis-based Pert Near Sandstone is an acoustic string band.

It’s not bluegrass, but it’s pert near.

The sound is close to old-time stringband with rock energy.

There’s a lot of swing and bounce as well.

The vocals are raw — and real — not polished.

And the lyrics are strong.

The band wrote 12 of the 14 tracks on “Paradise Hop,” its fifth album in six years.

The exceptions are “Ruben’s Train” and “All Night Long.”

“Solid Gone” is about a woman leaving — “Why a woman goes out at night/the devil knows what for.”

On “Crossroads,” they sing, “Don’t want dime-store salvation/Profitability don’t mean a thing.”

“Sad When That Great Bridge Went Down” is about the Aug. 1, 2007, collapse of the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis  during rush hour.

The band’s name comes from its roots. Its members grew up in the Brooklyn Park area of Minneapolis, “pert near” the sandstone of the Mississippi River.

Band members are Nate Sipe on mandolin and fiddle; Kevin Kniebel on banjo; J Lenz on acoustic guitar; Adam Kiesling on upright bass; and Andy Lambert on clogs and washboard.

Good album by a band on the rise.

Can’t find it in stores? Try http://www.pertnearsandstone.com/

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