Category: Reviews

Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars – Dwight Yoakam

| October 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

Can any song be turned into a bluegrass number? And furthermore, should it? Those are the questions I found myself asking as I listened to Dwight Yoakam’s new album, with the tongue-in-cheek title, Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars…. Yoakam lined up a backing band full of bluegrass […]


Space age flat pick from I-Tone

| October 4, 2016 | 0 Comments

When it comes to learning a craft, there are lots of insider tips, tricks, and so called “trade secrets” out there – the stuff that “only the pros know” and everyone else is dying to find out. This can be especially true for musicians. This […]


Unbound – Kenny & Amanda Smith

| September 23, 2016 | 0 Comments

In the late 1940s through the ’50s, a style of American jazz music emerged that came to be know as cool jazz, characterized by more restrained and subtle soloing, and less hectic arrangements than the be-bop era that had preceded it. All the elements of […]


Welcome Home – Gospel Plowboys

| September 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

Mountain Fever Records has a good thing going over in the hills of southern Virginia. With a roster that includes enduring favorites like Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice and Grasstowne along with a host of rising stars such as Mountain Faith, Volume Five, and Dave […]


Kristin Scott Benson’s Stringworks Sings

| September 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Grascals. And while I love a lot of things about Kristin Scott Benson’s new solo project, Stringworks, one of the things I love best about it that it doesn’t sound like the band that she’s such an integral […]


‘Neath a Midnight Sky – Eastman String Band

| September 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

Eastman Strings has been a friend to bluegrass for some time now, and one of its reps, Tim Finch, is a regular presence at World of Bluegrass, MerleFest, the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival and elsewhere. But Tim doesn’t just sell Eastman mandolins, guitars and other stringed […]


Original Traditional – Blue Highway

| September 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

When a band has been around for over twenty years (with a membership that has rarely changed), fans come to expect certain things. In the case of Blue Highway, which releases its eleventh studio album, Original Traditional, today, we expect to hear strong lead vocals, […]


SamJam debuts in Piketon, Ohio

| September 7, 2016 | 0 Comments

This report is a contribution from C.J. Lewandowski, mandolinist and vocalist with the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys. He helped as MC for the SamJam 16 festival, and shares his experience there for the sake of our readers. As the festival Tee’s stated, it was indeed Bluegrass:30 in […]


Croweology – Rickey Wasson

| September 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

Has bluegrass music gotten better over its somewhat brief 70 year history? I’m not talking about how the music that is categorized as bluegrass has expanded over this time, and how people may feel about that, but about the core essence of what seminal artists […]


Deep Waters – Lonely Heartstring Band

| August 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

Deep Waters, the debut Rounder project for The Lonely Heartstring Band, may well be a precursor of what bluegrass music will sound like in the future. In a way I’ve yet to see accomplished as successfully before, they manage to incorporate a more complex harmonic […]