Here we go again. Hardly a month or so ago, I reviewed a 15-year-old fiddling phenom. Now comes a 13-year-old fiddling phenom. Carson Peters and Iron Mountain includes the able efforts of Ben Marshall on bass and vocals, Eric Marshall on banjo and vocals, Austin Tate on mandolin and vocals, and Jamie Peters on guitar. This is their first recording.
While Peters’ name is out front, he is still very much a band member. He sings lead on five tunes, displaying a developing voice. At times, as best exemplified on “Sadie’s Got Her New Dress On,” he has moments in which he really hits the rhythm and phrasing quite well. Give him a little time. His fiddling, on the other hand, shows a highly-developed level of skill. His tone is good and his ideas are quite ear-catching, though largely in a traditional manner.
That traditional feel is at the core of the band as a whole, from Peters’ self-penned instrumental “Oak Creek,” which opens the recording straight through covers of Monroe’s “Little Georgia Rose” and “Kentucky Waltz” through standards such as “Old Home Place,” “Crying Holy Unto The Lord,” and “Walkin’ In Jerusalem.” They also feature four originals, the best of which are “Like A Train” and “Oak Creek.”
Who sings what, other than Peters, is not noted. There seems to be several voices, all reasonable. On the instrumental side, the old sounding, straight-up tone of banjoist Eric Marshall stands out as a refreshing change of pace from the usual banjo sounds. A good first recording by a group with lots of potential. (www.carsonandironmt.com)BW