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ROAD SIGNS & HIGHWAYS

Mountain Fever
MFR190800

This relatively new band (2016) has completed it’s third recording and the second for Mountain Fever Records. The band originated in the mountains of western North Carolina and was originally comprised of a couple of teenagers and two other veteran players. As with many new bands, personnel turnover occurs as the settling-in process develops. Only Jacob Greer (guitar and vocals) and Zach Arnold (mandolin and vocals) have been on all three recordings. For this recording, veteran artists Jason Davis (banjo), Kameron Keller (bass), and Jamie Harper (fiddle) fill out the lineup.

The first track “Emma” was released in May 2019 as the first single from the album. It’s performed in an upbeat style and tells the love story of a couple facing a potential breakup with the singer wanting a fresh start. Writer Shannon Slaughter provided the band with “Dreamer,” about a burning love deep within a person’s heart and soul. Bill Castle’s “Needed More Soldiers To Carry The Cross” is a gospel number. “Thanks For Nothin’” is a softer heartbreak song. There’s the obligatory train song, “I Robbed A Train,” written by Kevin McKinnon. “That’s The Difference Between Me And You” is the slowest song and reminds us of heartbreak as one person feels the hurt deeper than the other.

“Road Signs And Highways,” the title track, isn’t heard until near the end of the project. It’s another love song sung from the view of a driver on the way home to a loved one, defying the lure of the road. “Back To Dixie” is the familiar song from Pete Goble, Doyle Lawson, and Leroy Drumm. It’s given fine treatment, as are all the songs. There are no instrumentals here and the vocals are all nicely arranged. The band plays with drive and has a contemporary sound within a traditional framework. No tricks or extreme fancy licks from the band, just solid picking and singing. Let’s hope they’ll be around for a long while. (Mountain Fever, 1177 Alum Ridge Rd. NW, Willis, VA 24380, www.mountainfever.com.)BW

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