This new CD from the group primarily features the songwriting talents of guitarist Mike Bently.
Other members include Rod Smith (banjo), Clint Hurd (mandolin), and Bryan Russell (bass). Smith and Russell also contribute material to the project, and guest artists include Steve and Debbie Gulley, Alan Bibey, and Justin Moses. This is a good selection of material that highlights both the group’s instrumental prowess and its use of different lead vocals and harmony blends.
All of the songs on the project are very well produced with highlights that include Bently’s “Ode To The Mountain Man,” Chris West’s “Greyhound Bus,” Tim Johnson’s “Dance This Way,” and the Herd/Stafford/Starnes title track “A Whole Lotta Lonesome.” Rod Smith contributes a rousing instrumental “Ten Bears Run,” of which everyone gets a piece. One of the prettiest and saddest songs is Steve Gulley’s “Let’s Find A Way.” Cumberland Gap Connection is ready to make a big impression of the modern bluegrass scene. They are certainly worth a listen. (Kindred Records, 65 Scott Hill Rd., Irvine, KY 40336, www.kindredrecords.com.) BF