Magnolia Drive has been entertaining audiences around the Southeast and Midwest for over ten years. Their sophomore release, Timeless, from Mountain Fever Records, demonstrates the traditional, yet slightly contemporary sound the band has become recognized for.
This Mississippi-based group consists of the same four guys that have been there since day one, Don Robinson on banjo and vocals, Steve Nowell on bass and vocals, Mike Nowell on guitar and vocals, and Cory Burton on mandolin. They are also joined by special guests, Glen Harrell of Volume Five on fiddle and Tim Hathorn on dobro, giving the group an even fuller sound on certain tracks.
The track listing on Timeless is a mixture between original songs and the group’s interpretations of material previously recorded by other artists. Lonely Side of Goodbye, written by the late Randall Hylton is a strong opening track that contains plenty of drive and emotion. Going Back In Time by Mike Nowell is a piece reflecting on the classic theme of love that didn’t last. It’s presented here in a way that’s not overly clichéd, and it really tells a great story.
I Will Always Be With You and I Won’t Call You are also standouts within the category of original material on this project. The former written by Steve Nowell is a positive love song detailing commitment and faithfulness while the latter, written by Don Robinson, tells the story of moving past feelings of heartbreak.
Mountain Rose co-written by Nowell and Leroy Drumm has all the elements of a great traditional bluegrass song. Not only does it have a catchy melody, but it’s paired alongside a strong narrative that can hook the listener in immediately.
Your Tender Loving Care by Buck Owens and It’s Me Again Lord by Dottie Rambo are both given stellar bluegrass treatments by Magnolia Drive. These two tracks are good examples of how effective the group is at making old songs new again.
Magnolia Drive is a band that effortlessly straddles the fence between traditional and contemporary bluegrass styles. Timeless not only exhibits the chemistry that the group has been continually maintaining over the last ten years, but also the vibrancy of their music. There couldn’t be a more fitting title for this album!