The same four veteran musicians have constituted the Farm Hands, SPBGMA’s 2018 Band Of The Year, for four years. Tim Graves on resonator guitar, guitarist Keith Tew, bassman Daryl Mosley, and Don Hill on banjo share distinguished resumes going back more than 30 years. The fourth release with this lineup, Good Things, unsurprisingly is a strong album with some distinctive turns that successful bands exhibit.
Take the first two songs, “Hillbilly Graham” and the title-cut. Both are original and excellent. The songs stand out by being about religion rather than gospel. The upbeat former tune explores the difference between a true believer and the self-righteous. Band members, primarily Tew and Mosley, wrote eight of the thirteen selections. Their own material mixes well with carefully selected songs from outside. The only song familiar in bluegrass is Don Reno’s “Dixie Breakdown.”
The playing and singing are just as good as one would expect from this quartet. The balance of songs and instrumentals, tempos, and lyrical themes makes Good Thingsby the Farm Hands a pleasure from start to finish. (Pinecastle Records, 2514 River Rd., Ste. 105, Piedmont, SC 29673, www.pinecastlemusic.com.)AM