Archive for October 2018

ROLAND WHITE AND FRIENDS, “A Tribute to the Kentucky Colonels,” Mountain Home. 12 tracks.

October 29, 2018

Roland White is 80 now, still active in bluegrass, but looking back on a long career.

The Kentucky Colonels, a band that featured Roland on mandolin and his brother, Clarence, on guitar, was formed in Burbank, California, in 1954.

Music historians say Clarence was largely responsible for making the guitar a lead instrument in bluegrass.

The Colonels released two albums — “The New Sound of Bluegrass America” and “Appalachian Swing !” in the early 1960s.

In late 1965, the Colonels disbanded, but had two short-lived reunions in 1966 and 1973.

Roland became one of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in 1967 and later was a  member of Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass, the New Kentucky Colonels, Country Gazette, the Nashville Bluegrass Band and now, the Roland White Band.

In 2017, he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame. Clarence White had been inducted the year before.

Friends helping out on this waltz down memory lane include Brooke and Darin Aldridge, Kristin Scott Benson, David Grier, Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, Jon Weisberger and a lot more.

The album is a mix of vocals and instrumentals.

White handles the vocals on “If You’re Ever Gonna Love Me,” “Little White Washed Chimney,” “Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms,” “Why You Been Gone So Long” and “I Might Take You Back.”

Instrumentals include “Nine Pound Hammer,” “I Am A Pilgrim,” “Listen To The Mockingbird,” “Clinch Mountain Backstep,” “Soldier’s Joy/Ragtime Annie,” “Alabama Jubilee” and “Farewell Blues.”

A good look at the legacy of a band most fans have forgotten.

It’s available on Amazon and other websites.

 

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MEADOW MOUNTAIN, “Meadow Mountain,” Tape Time Records. 11 tracks.

October 15, 2018

Denver-based Meadow Mountain began as four guys busking at a farmers’ market in Vail, Colorado, in the summer of 2014.

Since then, the band has served an apprenticeship as the house band on a Norwegian cruise ship and won the prestigious RockyGrass band competition.

And on Nov. 2, their first album will hit the market.

“Misty Mountain” is a blend of traditional and progressive bluegrass and acoustic music.

The first single, “Careless Heart,” is about a man who’s learned the price you pay when you’re not a woman’s first choice.

“Follow Me” is about wanting to leave the cities behind and get lost in the mountains.

“Shadow of a Mountain” tells about a man who made the mistake of leaving a woman and is trying to get back with her.

“Rocky Lady” is about a woman who came to the mountains to climb, but is now moving back to Tennessee.

“Sail to America” tells about a sailor who left the woman he loves to sail away to Boston.

“Battle Mountain Pass,” “Flying Leaf Jig” and “Raji’s Romp” are instrumentals, showing off the band’s picking skills.

Band members are Summers Baker, guitar; Jack Dunlevie, mandolin; Ian  Parker, violin; George Guthrie, banjo; and Wilson Luallen, bass.

Good album by a new band.

For information, go to www.tapetimerecords.com/releases/

TOWN MOUNTAIN, “New Freedom Blues,” no label. 11 tracks

October 1, 2018

Jesse Langlais sums up Town Mountain‘s sixth studio album, “New Freedom Blues,” saying, “This album illustrates the fact that bluegrass music will continue to be an ever-changing genre.”

It’s the 11-year-old band’s first album with drums and pedal steel — two instruments not associated with bluegrass.

But even with its rock intensity, the bluegrass roots are very visible.

Every track is uptempo, hard-driving and full of energy.

All 11 songs are penned by band members.

The title track is about a man who has lost the woman he loves and finds sadness in his new freedom.

“North of Cheyenne” finds a Southern boy too far from home on a road that goes on and on.

“One Drop in the Bottle” is about a gambling man who loses his soul in the desert.

“Underdog” is about a man who keeps losing but keeps coming back to the table for the thrill of the challenge.

“Way I’m Made” finds a man always alone at the end of the night.

Strong album by a band that’s been making good music for more than a decade.

Can’t find it in stores? Try TownMountain.net