If you’re a fan of energetic and innovative bluegrass sounds, keep reading. If you’re also a fan of bands like the early New Grass Revival, Crucial Smith, or the Farewell Drifters, you should enjoy this debut from Fireside Collective. If all three of these bands had come of age in the same decade, they would probably have been jam buddies.
Joe Cicero (guitar), Alex Genova (banjo), Jesse Iaquinto (mandolin), Tommy Maher (resonator guitar and lap steel), and Carson White (acoustic bass) make up Fireside Collective based in Asheville, N.C. They all sing, and four members contribute songs for this all-original set.
“Winding Road” (with a five-part vocal stack) and “Circles” are introspective songs about life’s meandering and circular journey. “Back To Caroline” is about a guy laying train rail in Virginia, hoping to hitch a ride back to his blue-eyed girl in Carolina. On “Done Deal,” the song begins and ends with the provocative question: I crossed every mountain and line in the sand, but how in the hell did I get to Cheyenne?
“Bring It On Home,” with a funky groove and a tasteful bass solo, is about being dumped some time ago, but remaining optimistic that the woman will come home. “Where The Broad River Runs” has the great line: All I need is a fiddle and a loaded whisky jar, and a barefoot girl to help me still my mind. “Night Sky From Here” is an instrumental that paints panoramic scenes—perhaps of mountains and rivers in North Carolina. “She Was An Angel” is about losing someone to the type of situation you can’t save someone else from and ends with a prayer for divine intervention. “Fast Train” is an optimistic bluegrass barn burner about moving on, complete with resonator slide train whistles and banjo-powered locomotion. Highly recommended. Keep an eye on this band. (Mountain Home, P.O. Box 829, Arden, NC 28704, www.mountainhomemusiccompany.com.)NC