Front Country’s roots date back a few years to progressive bluegrass jam sessions in San Francisco’s Mission District.
But the quintet’s musical journey has stretched well beyond bluegrass today.
In fact, the band calls “Other Love Songs,” its sophomore album, its “roots pop opus.”
The closest thing to bluegrass on the album is David Olney‘s “Millionaire,” with its banjo lead.
The Carter Family‘s “Storms Are On The Ocean” becomes a “swampy blues-rock” number in Front Country’s reimagining.
And it works.
It’s a good album.
It’s just not bluegrass.
Melody Walker, the lead singer, wrote eight of the songs.
Adam Roszkiewicz, the banjo and mandolin player, wrote both instrumentals — “Sometimes It Does” and “The Humpback and The Sloth.”
Walker is a good lycirist.
On “If Something Breaks,” she sings, “We can love like a well-oiled machine/we can love like something your mama never seen/even in her dreams.”
On “Lonesome Town,” she sings about a place without even a liquor store and “gas pumps hanging by a busted screen door.”
“I Don’t Wanna Be Angry” finds her worrying that their fights will end their relationships.
“It hurts that I can’t control my words,” Walker sings. “And I can’t unhear all that I heard.”
“Other Love Songs” is a good album.
But if you like your bluegrass straight, it’s probably not for you.
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