TRINITY RIVER BAND, “Better Than Blue,” Orange Blossom Records. 12 tracks.
Family bands have been part of the fabric of country and bluegrass music since the days of the Carter and Stoneman families in the 1920s.
In 2008, when Mike Harris got laid off from his job during the early months of the Great Recession, he decided to create Trinity River Band with his wife and kids.
They started out performing in churches near their Florida home.
After three years of that, Trinity River hit the road full time.
Sarah Harris, the 21-year-old daughter, plays mandolin and fronts the band today.
Mike Harris plays guitar. Lisa Harris, the mom, plays bass. Son Joshua plays resophonic guitar and banjo and daughter, Brianna, plays fiddle.
Everybody but Lisa takes a turn at singing lead.
The band describes its music as Americana, bluegrass and acoustic roots, but there’s also sort of a rock edge to the energy Trinity River Band brings to a performance.
The new album, “Better Than Blue,” features two songs — “My Heart Will Find Its Way To You” and “Pure Poison” — written by Sarah Harris and two — “Barefoot Breakdown” and “Steel and Blood” — written by her father.
There are a couple of grassed-up country hits from the past — “Jacob’s Ladder,” a 1996 hit for Mark Wills, and “Daddy’s Hands,” which took Holly Dunn to the top of the charts in 1986.
And a bluegrass version of Herman Parker Jr. — Little Junior Parker’s — blues classic “Mystery Train” from 1953.
But it’s mostly new material.
Good album by a band that’s starting to receive the attention it deserves.
Can’t find it in stores? Try http://www.TrinityRiverBand.com.