The Lonesome River Band - Finding the Way

Finding the Way

Lonesome River Band

(SHCD-3884)

Sugar Hill Records, Inc.
PO Box 55300
Durham, NC 27717-5300

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by
Allen Price
(aprice@aa.net)

The Lonesome River Band just might be the Beatles, the Garth Brooks or the Pavarottis of bluegrass. Their albums reflect an energy, a drive, and a precision that can be admired by everyone who appreciates good music. Known individually as some of the best musicians in contemporary bluegrass, they seem to jump at the chance to play together as a group to the benefit of bluegrass fans everywhere.

While retaining the feel and quality of traditional bluegrass, they provide a contemporary touch at the same time. Their concert and festival appearances are consistently powerful and well received. Alison Krauss notwithstanding, the Lonesome River Band is locked, loaded and ready to be the link between bluegrass and mainstream music lovers.

FINDING THE WAY is yet another great work from this stellar group. There is always the suspicion when something new comes from these guys that it might not match the quality of their previous work. FINDING THE WAY is as good as their previous recordings, if not a cut above. As fine as the solo albums of Sammy Shelor (LEADING ROLL, my second favorite banjo album ever), Don Rigsby (A VISION), Kenny Smith (STUDEBAKER) and Ronnie Bowman (MAN I'M TRYIN' TO BE) are, these folks are at their best playing together. It's a deadly combination: Shelor's driving banjo, the blend of Bowman's and Rigsby's voices, and Kenny Baker's solid work on guitar.

Joined by fiddler Jason Carter and Dobro guru Jerry Douglas, FINDING THE WAY is a collection of original and contemporary songs. Ralph Stanley's Sweet Sally Brown and the traditional fiddle piece, Devil Chased Me Around The Stump fit right alongside such great new pieces as Up On The Shelf, Let It Go and Don't Worry 'Bout Daddy.

FINDING THE WAY once again has the Lonesome River Band raising the bar for those of us who enjoy playing bluegrass music. An interesting title, considering it comes from a band that is leading the way. I can't wait to see what these guys do next.

Selections

  • Am I A Fool (Keith Tee)
  • Love's Come Over Me (Bill and Terry Smith)
  • Let It Go (Ronnie Bowman and Jerry Douglas)
  • Cardboard Mansion (Troy Spencer)
  • Perfume, Powder And Lead (Tommy Morse)
  • Baby Come Home (Russel Loudermilk)
  • Another By My Side (Ronnie Bowman and Daryl Webb)
  • Don't Worry 'Bout Daddy (Paul Humphrey)
  • Finding Your Way (Craig Market)
  • Up On The Shelf (Don Rigsby, Ronnie Bowman, Kenny Smith, Sammy Shelor)
  • Better Days To Come (Craig Market)
  • Sweet Sally Brown (Wendell M. Smith and Ralph Stanley)
  • Devil Chased Me Around The Stump (PD, arranged by Jerry Douglas)

Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz (rschwartz@oeb.harvard.edu)

Copyright 1999, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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