The 12-song record opens with “Lookin in the Mirror,” all sinuous fiddle (Bobby Britt) and bouncy banjo (Jesse Langlais), but there’s also tongue-in-cheek when it comes to those bluegrass chops. “Time can take its toll in so many different ways. I get more distinguished, you grow old and grey,” goes the verse.
“The songs sound the part, too – murder ballads, endless highways, a nod to bluegrass’ Celtic roots and even a tip of the hat to a moonshiner,” says a review in Bluegrass Today. “The songs are new and mostly written by band members, but they sound like they could have come from the exciting early days of bluegrass.”
The title track is a quick waltz with tight harmonies and some smart, jazzy time signature changes. “Lawdog” opens a cappella, with mandolin player Phil Barker’s voice hitting notes that border on yodel territory.
John Stickley handles lead guitar and bass; Robert Greer also plays guitar. Those strings parts are a sturdy backbone to tear-jerkers like “Away from Home” and fast-paced feats of picking like “You Weighted Heavy on my Heart.”
On its own blog, that bands says that while their style is “always contributing to the evolution of the bluegrass form, they toss influences as varied as surf-rock, gospel, and honky-tonk country into their field of play.”
“Greenbud on the Flower” is definitely an amalgamation of influences — folky at turns, nodding at Irish cadences and Americana roots — but more than anything it’s a pretty song that would fit nicely on a local mix tape.
For a free download of the title track, available through Tuesday, Sept. 11, go here.