Among the pre-Christmas releases is The Road Has No End (MC 1212), the latest album from Minnesota-based quintet Monroe Crossing. It’s their thirteenth CD – equating to one album per year since their formation in 2000.
Not wanting to push their luck too far, The Road Has No End consists of a generous 14 tracks, with a mixture of new songs from band members and others, and older material, including a song taken from the classic rock repertoire.
Lisa Fuglie (fiddle, guitar and vocals) starts off this travel-themed collection with Cool, Cool Ride, and, along the way chimes in with the frenetic Bullet Train (co-written with Mark Anderson (bass, snare and vocals)), Rain Was Turning Into Snow – actually a Matt Thompson (mandolin and vocals) composition, Bread and Milk and Heavenly Table, which is given an old-time treatment. Fuglie composed the sole instrumental piece Cicida; another number on which David Robinson (banjo, resophonic guitar, harmonica and vocals) plays frailing banjo.
Derek Johnson (guitar and vocals) penned Chattanooga, after one of the band’s favorite stops while on the road, and Easy To Get Lost, prompted by an amusing incident that he experienced one time.
Folk singer Bill Isles contributed the intriguing little known song about an aspect of life during the Great Depression, Hobos in the Roundhouse.
The passing of Earl Scruggs led the band to working out several Flatt and Scruggs songs in his honor; of those Jimmy Skinner’s Doing My Time gelled the best.
The album is rounded out by Last Letter Home, a song that the band has played for years, but mostly associated with Sam Bush, and the Hollies’ Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.
For fans of Monroe Crossing this is first opportunity to hear recorded contributions from the promising 18 year old David Robinson.
The Road Has No End is already available from the band’s website. Tracks will be available as digital downloads from February 1, 2013.
The first single from the album is Chattanooga, released on December 12 ….
A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.
He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.
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