HARD DRIVE

HARD-DRIVEHARD DRIVE

No Label
No Number

Millennial bluegrass is not for the old and stodgy unless you are open to reinventing the norms. The opening track, “Intuitions,” is reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, smooth voice over and all. This segues into the women’s voices on the introduction to a very fine “Goin’ Up Caney.” The music ranges from good to very good with wild takes at times on well-known pieces. “Bravest Cowboy,” easily traced to Tommy Jarrell and his ilk, is given a hardcore bluegrass reading until it isn’t. “Where Is My Sailor Boy” features a plaintive vocal duet between fiddler Tatiana Hargreaves and guitarist Sonya Badigian. The banjo chores are handled by Aaron Tacke whose solid right hand drives the music along. Nokosee Fields holds it together on bass.

Hargreaves’ fiddling is a definite highlight of this project and it dominates. Her tone is rich and thick like that of the late Chubby Anthony and just as smooth. As the band switches from the old-time fiddle tune “Katy Hill” to “Bob Wills Stomp,” done in a loping bluegrass style, we are treated to the handshake of a phone line and what could be a fax machine. They bring a regard for the old-time music into this bluegrass so that it has a richness that is pretty much lost in modern bluegrass. The spoken suggestions at the introduction and, for lack of better word, benediction at the end serves as their “gospel” songs on this project.

As the world changes, so do our lives and those who make the music that reflects these changes. For those who are up for venturing where no one has gone before, well this group has already done that, and it’s a heck of a fun ride.(hard-drive.bandcamp.com)RCB

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