In March we reported news of the agreement between the newly-formed Mountain Roads Recordings and the long-lived traditional band from southwest Virginia, Big Country Bluegrass.
Now, we are informed that the first album resulting from that liaison, the premiere release from Mountain Roads Recordings of Bristol, TN, Open For Business, is released today, July 23.
Big Country Bluegrass is noted for delivering their own style of authentic hard-driving bluegrass that makes them crowd favourites wherever they perform from festivals and concerts across this country to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. With more than two decades of experience under their belts, the band offers the very best in traditional bluegrass music and has created what has already been described as their best album yet…. Open For Business.
The band is comprised of Tommy Sells on mandolin, Teresa Sells on rhythm guitar and vocals, Alan Mastin on acoustic upright bass fiddle, Jeff Michael on fiddle, rhythm guitar, clawhammer banjo and vocals, Lynwood Lunsford on banjo, lead guitar and baritone vocals and Johnny Williams on rhythm guitar and vocals.
Open For Business is a combination of old standards, traditional favourites, a new song by the prolific writing couple Tom T. and Miss Dixie Hall, All That’s Left, and the original song This Time I’ve Learned by Jeff Michael and his fiddle tune entitled Back Stop. The former features lead vocals by Jeff Michael with tenor by Teresa Sells.
The lead song, High Alleghenies, also has Jeff Michael singing lead along with Teresa Sells (high baritone) and Johnny Williams (tenor), thus showcasing the beautiful harmonies and drive of this group. Michael’s unique lead vocals can be heard on Ghost Of A Love, This Time I’ve Learned, Weary Traveller, I’ll Never Dream No More My Darling, Old Time Preacher Man, Old Kentucky Shore and The Bible’s True, an old time song attributed to Uncle Dave Macon, on which Lunsford play three-finger banjo and Michael plays in the clawhammer style. Williams assumes the role of lead vocalist on Nashville Jail and Just Another Broken Heart, while Teresa Sells does likewise on I’ve Lost You and I Guess I’ll Go On Dreaming. Lunsford showcases on an old Don Reno tune Banjo Riff.
The band is entering its twenty-second year in the business and this album demonstrates their outstanding musicianship and vocals. Each member possesses a unique style that, when combined, comes together in a performance that is their very best yet.
Look for Open For Business in iTunes and at CD Baby over the next few weeks.
The band is hosting a CD Release event on July 26 at Applewood Music Park in Cana, VA. Details can be found by calling (336) 325-0230.