Down Where The Grass Is Blue

This Georgia-based family band, which seems and sounds like a fundamentalist Christian version of the legendary Trapp Family, has an interesting back story. Husband Jon (lead singer and bass player) and wife Marina (fiddle and harmony vocals) Linblom are classically trained musicians who first moved south about 20 years ago to take positions with the Savannah Symphony.

Several years ago, almost as a matter of happenstance, they got bitten by the bluegrass gospel bug in a big, big way. Not too long afterward they formed their own band, which includes the four oldest of their nine children. The siblings cover the bases on Dobro, guitar, mandolin and banjo as well as in various vocal roles.

Some of their familial harmonies, like on the oldie “Dearest Friend,” are near-stellar. Their picking is stalwart and spirited, if occasionally a little rough around the edges. 

Headin’ Home really hits the mark on gospel classics such as “How Great Thou Art,” “Y’all Come, Bill Monroe’s “On My Way Back To The Old Home” and Ralph Stanley’s “I’m Ready To Go.” 

Some of their original material tends to be overly wordy and—not surprisingly—very didactic when it comes to spreading the wisdom of the good book in an extremely literal sense.

All that said, Headin’ Home’s wholesome, celebratory music is almost irrepressibly appealing and uplifting, and it’s nearly impossible not to love and appreciate their good will and earnestness. They no doubt provide heart-warming uplift and encouragement to those whose souls are already saved and maybe even save a few more along the way.

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