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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Chris Murphy

Red Mountain Blues

Review by Gary Hill

There is a big roots music revolution underway these days. Whether you’ve noticed it or not, many artists (arguably spear-headed by the success of Mumford and Sons) are creating a musical repertoire by looking back to sounds that were more common in the early parts of the twentieth century. This bluegrass disc is one example of the movement. It’s a solid set that’s roughly half instrumental.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Red Mountain Blues
This is definitely some great high energy bluegrass. It’s a strictly instrumental tune with some exceptional melodies. There are almost some hints of psychedelia in this, too.
Dirt Time
I’ve always noticed musical links between Celtic music and bluegrass. If you don’t believe me, check out this song. It definitely showcases the shared ground between the two sounds. This has a definite folk angle to it.
High Country
The folk and bluegrass sounds merge here, too. Again, there are hints of Celtic music in the mix. This is another instrumental.
Black Roller
Down home, old school bluegrass is the idea here. It’s bouncy and fun.
Kitchen Girl (feat. Tim O'Brien)
There is definitely a Celtic vibe to this one. The vocals are more old school country, though.
Cast Iron
This instrumental isn’t a big change. It is, however, a particularly effective piece of music.
Dry County
Very much an old-time, downhome bluegrass tune, this is fun stuff.
Walt Whitman
This instrumental is slower and quite pretty. I love the piano on the tune. It’s one that lands closer to a soft rock kind of arrangement.
Dig For One Day More
The Celtic and bluegrass elements merge on this magical piece of music. This is definitely one of the strongest cuts here.
Buckwheat Pancakes
This instrumental has some particularly cool picking. It’s one that allows you to picture people in the old west dancing at the big hoe down. It’s a fun cut for sure.
Meet Me Tonight
Mixing modern roots music with old school bluegrass, this cut is fun. It’s just not one of my favorites here.
Johnson County
This instrumental combines classical music, bluegrass and gospel. It’s a nice change, but not one of the stronger cuts here.
Chickasaw Freedman
Hanging on the same musical wall as “Meet Me Tonight,” the violin (or should it be “fiddle?”) plays a prominent role here.
The Lord Will Provide
The album ends, as it started, with a bluegrass instrumental. This is fine, but not really any kind of standout.
 
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