A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by
Unfazed by musical labels, the six men of Northern Lights seem to pick tunes which they enjoy, and to cpresent them in an acoustic style that plays well for the strictest bluegrass traditionalist, as well as those listeners who prefer a more modern sound. "Living In The City", their latest release, brings together a delightful combination of traditional, contemporary and original songs. Lead vocals are shared by band members Taylor Amerding, Jake Amerding, Jeff Horton, Bill Henry and Jeff Horton. Each also contributes strong harmonies to the album. Banjo and finger-style guitar are in Mike Kropp's capable hands.
The band plays smooth, tight arrangements that vary in tempo. A highlight is Kropp's banjo work,an accomplished blend of old-time, Scruggs and melodic style that complements the guitar, mandolin, fiddle and bass perfectly.
My favorite songs were:
Special Delivery- an instrumental piece written by Mike Kropp (Looks like I've discovered another great banjo player out there!).
She Don't Love Nobody- A fresh arrangement of John Hiatt's great tune that is sure to make it into a living room session at our house real soon.
Ariel's Hornpipe- Awonderfully bouncy instrumental piece, written by Jake Amerding for the Little Mermaid.
Home From The Mill- Chesapeake's version is good, but I dearly love the way Northern Lights does this wonderful tune. Jeff Horton's lead vocals are as smooth as any around.
Living In The City- The title track tells the grim story of people in today's urban world who got "lost in the underground". The harsh facts in the story are given an interesting counterpoint by the upbeat melody.
Living In The City is for anyone who enjoys acoustic music. Don't hesitate to give it a listen.
Edited by Kerry Dexter