march 2011

audieAUDIE BLAYLOCK, I’m Going Back To Old Kentucky-- Much verbiage has poured forth in this publication in 2011 in honor of Mr. Bill Monroe’s centennial birth year, but in the end the ever-reliable Audie Blaylock and Redline have got it right: the music speaks most profoundly of the man.

cumberlandCUMBERLAND RIVER, The Life We Live-- Talk about walking like you talk it. On “Harlan Man,” the intense, driving treatise opening The Life We Live, the quintet Cumberland River describes in vivid detail the destructive, soul crushing routine the coal miner endures each day, with conviction that comes from experience. Indeed, two of this impressive young band’s musicians are in fact coal miners when they’re offstage, which doubtless accounts for the performance being fully imbued with a sense of the tragic, an understanding rooted in real life of how the steady paycheck hardly makes up for the inexorable, incessant physical and emotional toll the mines take.

greencardsGREENCARDS, The Brick Album -- Clearly on the upward arc of their career, Australia’s Greencards follow their solid 2009 Fascination long player with a new variation on the band’s formula bluegrass-folk-country hybrid, with two new members on board joining mainstays Carol Young and mandolinist extraordinaire Kim Warner (the only remaining native Aussies in the lineup). The personnel change seems to have been seamless, with the band picking up and moving forward from where Fascination left off, more mellow, perhaps, but deeper too. Welcome to the new Greencards, better than the old Greencards, working on an exalted plateau. The Brick Album is a complete stunner.

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