Amanda Cook is originally from the Gulf Coast of Florida and once introduced to bluegrass by her Dad, she was hooked. She and her father formed the band High Cotton and that was where she gained the experience that gave her confidence to go out on her own. This new project is her second for Mountain Fever, her previous being Deep Water. Cook sings lead and plays mandolin and guitar and she is joined by band members Carolyne VanLierop (banjo, vocals), Josh Faul (upright bass), Aaron Foster (guitar), and George Mason (fiddle). Also joining in the studio is Brandon Bostic (guitar, resonator guitar), Aaron Ramsey (mandolin), and Jess Bostic (vocals).
The title-cut “Point Of No Return” is from Ashby Frank. Also included are Merle Haggard’s “My Favorite Memory,” John Pennell’s “Will You Be Leaving,” and Milan Miller’s “Two Acres At A Time.” Cook and VanLierop co-wrote “Time To Say Goodbye,” and she also co-wrote two with Thomm Jutz—“Sarah, Dear” and “Standing Across The River.” VanLierop wrote “You Were Mine” and “Calhoun County.” There’s also a gospel-tinged “Lonesome Soul” from Mike Ramsey and “Good Enough (Ain’t Good Enough)” from Jutz and Sierra Hull. Cook has a strong and soulful voice and this new project shows that she and her band have a solid grip on the future of bluegrass. (Mountain Fever, 1177 Alum Ridge Rd. NW, Willis, VA 24380, www.mountainfever.com.)BF