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The SteelDrivers - The SteelDrivers

The SteelDrivers

The SteelDrivers

Rounder Records - 11661 0598 2

Available from The SteelDrivers' web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb
(taoboy@cox.net)

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This boisterous new disc of drivin' bluegrass is filled with eleven original songs that are written by the band in some form or combination, and reflect the hard edge this disc takes. It might cause you to wonder if there is a genre called "power grass" to encompass what they bring to the table. These five musicians have all been grounded and schooled in bluegrass, however they also have played with musicians from other genres as varied as Bob Seger, Bo Diddley, Rodney Crowell, and Johnny Cash. The key ingredient to their music is a soul that comes about through the knocks the music business, or that life in general hands out. Most of the songs (eight of eleven) have a songwriting team of Mike Henderson, mandolin and vocals, and Chris Stapleton, guitar and vocals to start with as a foundation and then you have Mike Fleming, bass and vocals, Tammy Rogers, fiddle and vocals, and Richard Bailey, banjo to round them all up. The songs are sharp and, though set in a style, constantly break and expand the style to show it new limits. The focus of the disc is on the songs, where the whole group started. It's going to be very interesting to see where they take it from here but this is a fantastic start, and they set the bar high.

Track List:

  • Blue Side of the Mountain
  • Drinkin' Dark Whiskey
  • Midnight Train to Memphis
  • Midnight Tears
  • If You Can't Be Good, Be Gone
  • If It Hadn't Been For Love
  • Hear the Willow Cry
  • Sticks That Made Thunder
  • East Kentucky Home
  • To Be With You Again
  • Heaven Sent

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2008, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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