Lonesome River Band – Chronology – Volume 1 – A Review
This group is one of the true iconic groups of Bluegrass Music. To celebrate their last 30 years of recording and playing music, they will be making 3 of these EPs, eight songs on each CD and each disc will cover a decade. Their last two CDs with Rural Rhythm Records have both been very successful, each being #1 on the Bluegrass charts. Those were “Still Learning” and “No Turning Back”. This band has had many of the bluegrass greats , like Dan Tyminski and Adam Steffey pass thru it over the years. The present Lineup consists of Sammy Shelor(banjo and harmony vocals), Brandon Rickman (guitar, lead and harmony vocals), Randy Jones (mandolin, lead and harmony vocals), Mike Hartgrove (fiddle), and Barry Reed (bass and harmony vocals).
“Hobo Blues” is one of my favorites, it starts out with a very syncopated, jazzy type beginning, Bass is awesome. Then banjo comes in and it goes into a bluesy/bluegrass tune with a lot of punch. This recording is big studio all of the way, it has that sound of a big label CD. The mix and interaction of the banjo, mandolin,guitar and fiddle is quite excellent. Great vocal harmonies too and a nice reverb wash like records of old. Right after this song, the band kicks into a great hoedown type instrumental, with lots of fiddle, mandolin and all instruments get involved. It really has a live flavor to it. The rhythm guitar drives the song and there are snitches of lead guitar too.
The CD starts out with “Close The Door Lightly when You Go”. It is an upbeat ,heartbreak song. Great vocal harmonies. The instrument tones are great, This is a sparkling mix of songs. There is a very good booklet which describes where each song came from and who does the parts on the new versions. You have to get this if you like The NRB. It is remarkable, one of the best recordings that I have heard recently done in a very inspired fashion.