Mandolinist Nick Chandler and his western North Carolina based group, Delivered, have made a name for themselves as one of today’s premier traditional bluegrass artists. Their latest release, Silver Bird, on Pinecastle Records, is a continuation of the straight ahead traditional sound that fans have come to know and love.
Like the Lonesome River Band’s newest album, Heyday, this project captures Nick Chandler & Delivered during a transitional period. The opening track, Darling Please Come On Home, features the current lineup of Chandler on mandolin and vocals, Gary Triviette on bass and vocals, Bobby Powell on guitar and vocals, and Jamie Sparks on banjo. Like other configurations of Delivered, this particular grouping has tight vocal harmonies and solid instrumental abilities.
The majority of the material on Silver Bird consists of Chandler and Triviette along with guitarist Hudson Bosworth and banjoist Zach McCracken. There is a slight difference between this configuration and the current one, but it’s very minimal. Missing You Blues is a strong original from Chandler that features this configuration and also includes some great fiddling from David Johnson.
Slowly Getting You Out Of The Way written by the late Randall Hylton, has been recorded by several artists over the years. This new rendition by Chandler is clearly influenced by the Bluegrass Cardinals’ 1984 recording of the song. Nonetheless it’s very well done and one of the best performances on the entire project. This track also features Delivered’s former banjoist Will Eller.
The album’s title track was written by Doyle Lawson, and originally recorded on his 1977 instrumental album Tennessee Dream. Nick’s performance of this tune is wonderful, and is especially complimented by Alan Bibey, who plays twin mandolin alongside Chandler on this cut. It’s a nice tip of the hat to one of the most influential musicians in the bluegrass genre.
I Don’t Want To Be Me Anymore, written by David Stewart, is another strong cut which spotlights the group’s smooth vocal harmonies as well as excellent dobro playing from Tim Surrett.
Lonely Road, written by bassist Gary Trivette, is the album’s sole gospel song. Like most of the other material on Silver Bird, it’s a strong original piece. The closing track, For So Many Years by JC Davis, reinforces the group’s hard driving traditional identity.
Silver Bird is a terrific recording. I have to admit I wasn’t too familiar with the music of Nick Chandler & Delivered before I heard this project, but I found myself captivated very quickly. This is an exciting group with strong traditional roots and extremely well-crafted material.