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Coloradan Andy Thorn is an award-winning banjo player who has performed with the Emmit-Nershi band, Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band, Larry Keel, and most recently Leftover Salmon. He’s joined on this project by Jon Stickley (guitar), Andrew Marlin (mandolin), Bobby Britt (fiddle), Miles Andrews (bass), Emily Frantz (vocals), Alwyn Robinson (drums, percussion), and Jeff Stickley (vocals).

This collection consists of originals either written or co-written by Thorn. His pleasant lead vocals are augmented by harmonies from Marlin, Frantz, and Stickley. Robinson’s drums are tastefully used on only a few cuts and help sustain the tempo. Instrumentally, the entire group is excellent. “Star Of St. Elmo,” “Thornado,” “Isabelle’s Wake,” and “A Banjo Oddity” are more modern in structure than the traditional bluegrass style. Thorn’s “Blazing New Frontiers” was adapted from a poem by his wife Cecelia about being one of the first brokers for legalized marijuana in Colorado. “Standing Still” and “Warning Call” both deal with environmental concerns, and “Dealt To You” is about playing the hands you been given in life. Other selections include “Above It All,” “Coming Round Again,” and the really cute “Five String Picker In A Second String Band.” Thorn’s banjo leads most of the tunes with mandolin and fiddle carrying the other leads along with guitar. This is an excellent project from Thorn after an eight-year hiatus. (

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