This first-rate veteran band (14 years and counting) more or less represents the cream of the crop of Michigan’s thriving bluegrass community.  Their new album, recorded in Lansing, showcases not only a boat-load of raw energy and ultra-tight picking, but also features some fascinating and provocative original songs.

“Downtown,” with its fluid instrumental rides and quixotic tempo shifts, along with some Jack Kerouac-like lyrics, depicts a surreal walk on the urban wild side.  “Lincoln River” is an elegiac paean to a beloved riverside retreat that captures that special spiritual connection so many of us have with certain landscapes and places. “Abilene,” imbued with longing and nostalgia, packs a similar emotional punch.

The band throws listeners a delightful curveball with a swingy, dreamy celebration called “Daydream Dance.” “Silvertone Blues” is a moving tribute to a cheap “starter” guitar that launched a long musical journey. “Hey Watch This” is a hard-charging, lighthearted instrumental with some acrobatic instrumental workouts.

The guys in Full Cord share vocal duties. Though none of them are “break-the-champagne-glass” singers, they sure get the job done on this fine collection.

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