Echoes of the Mountains – Dry Branch Fire Squad

Dry Branch Fire Squad - Echoes Of The MountainsRounder Records has announced the release date for the Dry Branch Fire Squad CD Echoes of the Mountains (Rounder 0574).

Consisting of 14 songs, the first all new studio album since Hand Hewn, released in 2001, Echoes of the Mountains will be available from January 27.

Whether the material is old or new, the Dry Branch Fire Squad has the ability to put its own stamp on each song. Nobody sounds like the band that has been in Ron Thomason’s custody since 1976, so it will be interesting to hear how Thomason (mandolin and vocals), Brian Aldridge (guitar, mandolin and vocals), Tom Boyd (banjo, Dobro and vocals) and Dan Russell (bass and guitar) handle songs like Echo Mountain, Rider On An Orphan Train and O Captain! My Captain!

Echo Mountain is, of course, a big fan favorite – a tear jerker, also – having been recorded by Cedar Hill about three years ago.

Ron Thomason offered this explanation for adding the song to the Dry Branch Fire Squad repertoire and subsequently recording it …….

“I felt that the song had not been done the way I thought that it should have been. I believe that I can present it as a metaphor for all folks who have friends of a different species, which I believe to be a great honour that is bestowed on all those folks by the separate species involved.”

Equally intriguing choices for this CD are the 1961 soul hit Bring It On Home To Me, written by Sam Cooke; the Carter Family’s Little Joe; Stormy Waters, a duet from Aldridge and Boyd; Seven Spanish Angels; a humorous ditty (You Got To Pray To The Lord) When You See Those Flying Saucers; and two songs that Thomason has been carrying around for a number of years, Up On The Divide and Grayson’s Train.

Celebrated fiddler Michael Cleveland also joins the band on two tracks.

At present there aren’t any audio samples at the Rounder website, but we will monitor the situation and advise you when they are available.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. 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.