NU-BLU, “Ten,” Rural Rhythm. 10 tracks
North Carolina-based Nu-Blu is celebrating 10 years in bluegrass with a new 10-track album titled — what else? — “Ten.”
The band overcame more adversity in its early years than most see in a lifetime.
Carolyn and Daniel Routh formed Nu-Blu in 2003.
That fall, she suffered two strokes, lost her ability to speak as well as the use of her right side — and almost lost her life.
But Carolyn Routh battled back to become a fine lead singer and bass player.
In 2009, Nu-Blu signed with Pinecastle Records, one of the genre’s most respected labels.
But a few months later, before the band’s new album, “Nights,” could be released, Pinecastle closed its doors.
The Rouths decided to self-release the album and its first single, “Spin on the Red Brick Floor.”
It scored well on several charts and Nu-Blu was named 2010 Country Band of the Year by the Carolina Music Awards.
Then, in September 2010, the Pinecastle label was purchased and reopened. And Nu-Blu was signed to a new contract.
Last fall, they released “Nail By Nail,” a critically acclaimed gospel EP with seven tracks.
Now, Nu-Blu is back with a strong secular album on the Rural Rhythm label.
It kicks off with Carolyn singing lead on “That Road,” a song about life on the bluegrass circuit, missing home and missing the man she loves.
On “Without A Kiss,” a woman says goodbye to her husband who died in a coal mine accident and promises to meet him in heaven.
Levi Austin, who plays guitar and banjo in the band, sings lead on “Eddie’s Garage,” a ballad about a “home-grown slice of Americana.”
Daniel Routh takes the lead on “The Seed,” a song about planting crops and learning life’s lessons from his father.
“All Americans” is a trio number about how Americans are always arguing and fighting among themselves instead of pulling together.
“Giant Squid,” a rather unusual title for a bluegrass tune, is an instrumental written by Austin Koerner, the band’s mandolin player.
Another good album from a good band.
Can’t find it in stores? Try nu-blu.com.