Red Pig Recordings
From the rolling bluegrass hills of España comes the third album from the Barcelona Bluegrass Band. Set Listis a collection of covers and fan favorites from the band’s live shows.
The album launches with a stirring rendition of the Earl Scruggs classic “Reuben,” spotlighting the impressive chops of Joan Pau Cumellas on diatonic harmonica, Lluís Gómez on banjo, Miguel Talavera on guitar, and Maribel Rivero, who takes a fine break on acoustic bass. Talavera (lead), Rivero and Gómez combine vocal harmonies for an effective cover of the Blue Highway hit, “Marbletown.” The banjo and harmonica take off in tandem again on “Elzic’s Farewell,” a traditional tune with impressive rides from Talavera on lead guitar and Rivero on bass.
Maribel contributes the lead vocal on a spritely, sweetly accented version of “Banjo Picking Girl,” and the blues edge of the fearless Gómez/Cumellas banjo/harmonica duo shines on a lonesome version of DeFord Bailey’s “Evening Prayer Blues.” All four capable instrumentalists have the chops to perform on the jazz/blues side of the acoustic fence with a slightly different set list.
“Hey Joe” is reminiscent of Tim O’Brien’s cover of the famous Jimi Hendrix song. Talavera provides lead vocals and jams out on the guitar, while Cumellas wails on the French Harp. The band proves to be adept at Celtic music on the traditional instrumental “Arcambdits.” An unexpected pairing of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” and the international jam favorite “Squirrel Hunters” works well. Maribel steps back to center stage to sing the gospel soul “Ain’t No Grave,” followed by a Bruce Hornsby cover of “The Way It Is” with Gómez nailing Hornsby’s signature piano riffs on the harmonica. The eclectic set concludes with a short instrumental version of the Louis Armstrong classic “What A Wonderful World.”
There are no ringers here—just the four band members singing their hearts out and playing well, filling out the sound on a collection of music as close as possible to how they sound live at a music club or concert hall in Barcelona. Well done! (www.barcelonabluegrassband.com)NC