If you have followed bluegrass music more than ten years or so, you’ll recall a band from Colorado called Front Range. They had a string of successful records and toured all over the US until the death of a band member brought the enterprise to a close.
The band has been quiet now for six years, though founding member, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Bob Amos has released a couple of non-bluegrass projects on his own. This year Bob is back with a bluegrass album, Borrowed Time, which also features former Front Range bass player Bob Dick, Jesse Brock on mandolin and a number of additional players and singers like Patti Casey, Colin McCaffrey, Freeman Corey, Sarah Amos, Nate Amos, and Mike Santosusso.
We caught up with Bob last week as he was heading off to enjoy the Ralph Stanley festival, and he explained why he has been away from bluegrass so long.
After Mike passed away in 2006 we felt, as a band, that we should ‘retire’ Front Range as a band, or at least take a prolonged break. We had had the same 4 guys in the band for over fifteen years, and it just didn’t seem to us at the time that we could, or should, replace him. That band had a very special chemistry, and it would have been very difficult to try to recapture that without Mike. Also, I wanted to spend more time with my family, and not be away so much, so it felt like a natural time to step back.
In the meantime I really increased my recording studio business and that has kept me very busy over the past five years. But all during this time bluegrass, and the intention to return to it, was never far from my mind. And, believe me, I really, really missed it!
My two kids are now grown and have ‘flown the nest’ (although I did get them to contribute to a couple of the tracks before they left – they’re pretty talented musicians these days), and so I have more freedom in my schedule now. It just felt like the right time to get back to what I love, and to put out a new bluegrass CD.
Though I haven’t been out touring, I’ve continued to write songs, many of which were intended for an evenutal bluegrass project. I wrote most of these songs over the last few years, but there are also a couple of older songs of mine that I’ve redone, like Where The Wild River Rolls.”