This outfit hails from the Western Frontier state where it gets its name, Colorado, and its music is steeped in the traditions of that neck of the woods - or should I say mountains! Typically, this means staunch, highly competent musicianship, easygoing manner, finely-honed performance skills, and a rich and powerful vocal presence - and that's what Jeff and his band deliver in spades. This is a band accustomed to hard travellin' and hard practisin', with musicians well used to paying their dues and learning from their inspirations, hence Ramblin' Feels Good - and it sure does.
National Banjo Champion Jeff and his faithful trio sidemen (vocalist Greg Blake and mandolinist Tristan - who happens to be Jeff's son) are joined on the album sessions by fiddler Andy Leftwich, bassist Mark Schatz and harmony vocalists Don Rigsby and David Peterson, and their choice of material is drawn from approved bluegrass-country sources Don Reno, Hylo Brown, Leon Jackson) as well as Gordon Lightfoot and Walt Aldridge classics - with a few more mainstream numbers thrown in for good measure (Jimmy Webb's Galveston, Willie Nelson's I'm A Memory) which if I'm honest don't do much for me. But then again, this album ain't about frightening the horses or blazin' a trail, and the guys stick to what they know and love and do it just fine thanks. The instrumental cuts come as welcome excursions into hot-pickin' territory, and the whole package is put together with style and flair. That I guess is the drawback for the reviewer - it's all so darned good and wholesome there ain;t nuthin' much else to say, just get on down and enjoy this honest, solid-state, no-nonsense, no-frills (none needed!) country-bluegrass album with musicianship from the forefront of the genre.
|Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire: Swithering||Bridget St. John: Fly High|
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