Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina RoadJust a few days ago we were commenting on the robust health of traditional bluegrass even as alternative and grass-influenced styles of music see renewed energy in the market. More evidence comes in the form of a new self-titled CD from Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road on Pinecastle Records.

Over the past few years this North Carolina aggregation has developed into a top flight band with an entertaining live show, and this new project demonstrates their strengths ably.

There are not many male singers on the scene with a more sincere and plaintive voice than Tommy Long, and Ben Greene has few peers on the banjo in the Scruggs style. Likewise, Josh Goforth fiddles up a storm wherever he’s been, and lays down some fine Dempsey Young-inspired mandolin here for good measure.

Jordan has seen greater and greater success as she has taken on more of a role as an MC and band leader, and turning over the majority of the lead vocals to Long. She does take one lead on the new album, but serves more as the tenor singer and mandolinist. There are a pair of her originals songs to be found on Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road as well.

The band is completed by their newest member, John Bradley, on bass.

All the songs are enjoyable, with a few that really stand out. That’s Kentucky, the opening track, may be the most memorable song from Dixie and Tom T. Hall to come down the pike in many a year. State songs have a long history in our history, and this one lists a good many attributes of the Bluegrass State, complete with twin fiddles and a spot-on treatment from Long.

That one is followed by a ripping version of Living With The Shades Pulled Down, popularized by Merle Haggard, written by Felice And Boudleaux Bryant with the Hag. Even faster is All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye, from the prolific pens of Ray Edwards and Terry Foust, which give Long a chance to showcase his baritone growl. Tommy also contributes a fine new bluesy number in I Heard You Call His Name Last Night, which features some fine finger style guitar.

The record closes with a spirited version of the fiddle favorite, Liza Jane, with Goforth and Greene absolutely tearing it up.

Special credit goes to Josh Goforth who not only produced, but played the utility infielder position on fiddle, guitar and mandolin, sang bass, baritone, tenor and lead vocals, and wrote two of the songs (Suitcase Of Your Heart, I Saw The Golden Stairs).

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road is available wherever bluegrass CDs and downloads are sold.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Andy Alexander

    I listened to this album earlier this week and it is KILLER! Lorraine Jordan has done an outstanding job of turning her band loose on some fresh new material. There is a lot of variety in the songs but they are all given the traditional treatment that “The Lady Of Tradition” is known for. Lorraine allows every member of Carolina Road a chance to shine on this project and the quality of the band runs deep.

    Through hard work, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road has moved upward into headliner status on the Bluegrass circuit. Fans at Pickin’ In The Pasture where Carolina Road has performed over the years now rate this group right up there with the other world-class touring groups. Well done Carolina Road!