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Appalachian Road Show (from the album Jubilation available on Billy Blue Records) (by Bryant Liggett)
Appalachian Road Show is what Bluegrass music should sound like. Jams that riff and sway without becoming too indulgent; tough, contemplative lyrics that aren’t corny and songs spotlighting loneliness, desperation, hard times and a better tomorrow. Jubilation provides all the above while waxing over simpler times and an easier life. Jubilation is a killer record.
The record opens with a spoken word narrative honoring the Appalachians, narrated by Dolly Parton. Then the music begins. Bluegrass is attached to the Blues by bloodline, Appalachian Road Show showing the blend masterfully with the bouncy and Bluesy “La La Blues” and “Lonesome Road to Travel”. “Kidder Cole” is a picturesque narrative about chasing a girl; a love song that swings for the fence.
That being said, Bluegrass fans like to dig into a string band that charges forward, and this Jubilation does just that. “Blue Ridge Mountain Baby” has a ripping mandolin intro and lead, “Hard Times in the Mines” follows suit, switching out the mandolin for the banjo, and “Only A Hobo” has that Bluegrass groove supplemented with yodels. Everything is high and lonesome. Every player in Appalachian Road Show rips and roars, each solo upping the game from the last set.
Appalachian Road Show nods to the genre invented by Bill Monroe and perfected with his hiring of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs while adding the instrument prowess the genre took on when Tony Rice and Bela Fleck got into the game. Yet they remain all about tradition. If someone wants a 21st Century introduction to Bluegrass music, I am pleased to introduce you to Appalachian Road Show. (by Bryant Liggett)
Listen and buy the music of Appalachian Road Show from AMAZON
Please go to the Appalachian Road Show website for more purchase and artist information
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