A live recording is challenging as well as rewarding. The loss of control as compared to a studio recording is the challenge but the spontaneity that comes from a live performance is the reward. Laurie Lewis has produced another great bluegrass album featuring Tom Rozum on vocal and mandolin, Todd Phillips on bass, Craig Smith on banjo, Scott Huffman on vocal and guitar and of course, Laurie on vocal and fiddle.
Live has 18 songs and includes a lot of variety. Many of them are standard bluegrass fair but there are others with more of a folk music quality. A few instruments round out the performance. The quality of the album is top notch and once you get into it, you will find the tunes worth repeating.
Laurie's singing is direct with a slight edge. When blended with the band's vocals it is hard to beat. The vocal by Scott Huffman on Live Forever is also a gem. I was most taken with Laurie's singing on Love Chooses You (pulls the heart strings), with Before the Sun Goes Down" (usual lover will return later song without being too serious) as a runner up. All of the music is a winner.
The traditional tunes and songs which the band performs also add a lot of fun to the album. "Diamond Joe" is a classic. The musicianship on the instruments is also great -- no exaggerated "look at me" solos but tasteful and well executed.
With the tight economy, you may be watching your music budget. This is an album that will be worth the investment.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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