Flint Michigan’s New County Grass has a new CD, Money Can’t Buy Love In the City. Fellas… it won’t get you much in the country, either!
Silliness aside, this top notch project shows just how strong a four-piece family band can be, especially with a wealth of original songs and solid performances all around.
The band is anchored by Duane Estep, who plays mandolin, sings lead, and writes/co-writes much of the band’s material. Sons Kyle on guitar and Brent on bass complete the family part of the group, which is completed by Dean DuBois on banjo. Their sound draws heavily on the hard-driving style made popular by Lonesome River Band, powered by Kyle’s aggressive rhythm guitar, Dean’s clean banjo picking, and tight three-part harmony.
The guys put together a preview of all 13 tracks in this YouTube video.
Particularly striking is the strength of their original material, given that their debut album was mostly covers. Money Can’t Buy Love In the City features 8 of 13 written within the band, something that Kyle Estep says was a major goal for the band.
“In July of 2010, we released our first project, Start the Whole Thing Over, which had one original song written by our banjo player Dean DuBois (the title cut). After playing the Wheeling Jamboree in October of 2010, we decided that we wanted to record another project. At that time, some of us had already started writing a few songs and we soon realized that we could include some of these original songs in the next project.
So in December of 2010, we began recording out new project, Money Can’t Buy Love.
Then, in March of 2011, we were excited to find out that Bluegrass Unlimited had reviewed our first project. While the review was very positive, they did mention some constructive criticism:
‘… there are a few too many standards done too familiarly.’
Little did they know we were almost finished this second project when their article was published. Fortunately for us, even though constructive criticism can be a little frustrating, it was a great feeling to be on the right track before they even realized we were!
We feel we answered the call with 8 original songs written by Dean DuBois, Duane Estep and myself. So, after 5 months in the making, we are very excited to have this newest project released for our friends and fans (and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine) to hear. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed preparing it!”