When most bluegrass fans think of husband and wife teams, the names Kenny and Amanda Smith or Darin and Brooke Aldridge spring to mind. However, another couple is quickly making a name for themselves in the bluegrass world, as leaders of the band Nu-Blu. Daniel and Carolyn Routh, along with their North Carolina-based group, have recently released their third album, a Gospel project entitled Nail By Nail.
This is the first all-Gospel record for the Rouths, who founded Nu-Blu in 2003. Following the recent bluegrass trend of releasing mini-albums, Nail By Nail contains only seven tracks. However, the band has packed a nice-selection of songs which share the story of Jesus and salvation into this small collection, offering a mixture of bluegrass and acoustic country sounds.
The album’s lead single, Martha and Mary, is an enjoyable, upbeat tune which draws from the Biblical story of two sisters who served Jesus in different ways –Martha through more practical actions and Mary by simply spending time listening to Him. This song, which was written by Becky Buller and Nancy Cardwell, is one of the more bluegrass-sounding on the album and features nice lead vocals from Carolyn Routh. The Abyss, a plea for the Lord to help a person who is close to “the edge of the deep, dark abyss,” has a completely different feel. It begins with a very stripped down sound, then brings in urgent, dark-sounding instrumental solos.
You See Jesus is a peaceful sounding song with a country feel which shares how God looks past a person’s outer problems and loves them regardless. Where Did You Get That Water, written by Tim Stafford and Jon Weisberger, has a cheerful, laidback vibe and includes bluesy guitar from Daniel Routh.
Carolyn (bass) and Daniel (guitar) are joined in the band by Levi Austin (banjo) and Austin Koerner (mandolin). In addition, Greg Luck provides fiddle for this album. Overall, the band offers a nice sampler of contemporary bluegrass Gospel, giving fans a taste of their brand of music.
For more information on Nu-Blu and their new album, visit their website at www.nu-blu.com.
Nail By Nail is out now from Pinecastle Records and can be purchased from the band’s website as well as various online music retailers.