One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
IIIrd Tyme Out's considerable vocal talents shine their latest, all gospel, release, LIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE. Seems like if you are a bluegrass group, sooner or later a gospel album is a must. It's a bit of a risk for a group, as such albums are as often major disappointments rather than affirmations of an excellent band. LIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE confirms that IIIrd Tyme Out ranks right up there with the "best of" in bluegrass as they weave through uptempo toe-tappers to beautiful ballads and back again.
The songs on this album include selections from contemporary writers such as Terry Smith and Karen Staley, traditional tunes and a very special Flatt and Scruggs piece, "Working On The Road To Gloryland." This cut stands out because of the distinctive guitar style backing the vocals, done by Earl Scruggs himself. Earl's mastery of the banjo has often obscured his guitar playing over the years. "Working On The Road To Gloryland" reminds us of this while providing a wonderful link between a bluegrass pioneer and one of today's finest group of bluegrass musicians.
In addition to "Gloryland," these are a few other personal favorites from this album:
"He'll Take You In," one of Smith's compositions, opens the album with four-part harmony guaranteed to make your toes tap. Russell Moore's distinctive lead vocals are supported by Ray Deaton's bass vocals and the harmonies of Wayne Benson and Steve Dilling. It's just plain perfect.
"Across The Miles" is Staley's beautiful ballad that is sure to make it into a number of song circles as this album receives airplay.
"Feed Me Jesus"--a capella gospel at its finest.
LIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE is a wonderful collection of gospel/bluegrass music from one of the finest groups in bluegrass music today. It's produced to showcase the vocals in their purest form. It's an album that should not be missed. It's enough to make a believer out of you.
Edited by Shawn Linderman