The album consists largely of original material written by band members Randall Massengill and Mike Ramsey, who penned 6 of the 13 tracks, and share lead vocal duties in the group. Massengill is on guitar and Ramsey on mandolin, along with Stuart Wyrick on banjo, Matt Leadbetter on resonator guitar and Tim Tipton on bass. The CD was produced by Steve Gulley, who joins in on harmony vocals on one song. Ron Stewart also guests on fiddle.
All the members have been major contributors to modern bluegrass in recent years. Tipton and Massengill had both worked as members of Blue Moon Rising, and Ramsey and Wyrick spent time with New Road, a Gospel bluegrass group that won critical praise for their CD The Message in 2006. Leadbetter is a former member of Lonesome River Band.
A single, Merry Go Round, had been released in December ’09, offering a taste of the hard-edged, contemporary bluegrass sound that is a hallmark of Brand New Strings.
Merry Go Round – Listen now: [http://www.hoperiverentertainment.com/audio/clip-merrygoround.mp3]
The vocals are pitched high throughout, and there is even a bit of the Del in this Massengill cut.
The Blues Club – Listen now: [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/blues_club.mp3]
A standout track is Living Water, written by Chris West of Blue Moon Rising, sung a capella with an assist from Dale Perry on bass.
Living Water – Listen now: [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/living_water.mp3]
Though not appearing on the CD, Preston Schmidt has recently joined the band on fiddle.
No Strings Attached should be available wherever bluegrass music is sold, and from the band’s web site, though it isn’t showing up yet in iTunes.