Iron Horse, working from the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama, has released Classic Bluegrass Volume 1 as their seventeenth full recording project. You may know them from twelve CMH recordings on their tribute projects to such groups as Metallica and Ozzy Osborne, to name just a couple.
The band was formed in 2000. The current band is comprised of original member Tony Robertson on mandolin and vocals, Vance Henry on guitar and vocals, Ricky Rogers on bass and vocals, and Anthony Richardson on banjo. (Robertson previously played with Rual Yarbrough, who was part of the Dixie Gentlemen with Herschel Sizemore and Jake Landers. Rogers had also played bass with Landers before joining Iron Horse. Henry, as well, recorded three projects with Landers’ band.) Richardson auditioned for the banjo position in 2002, thus completing the configuration.
Classic Bluegrass Volume 1, a self-produced recording, is the band’s tribute to the founders of bluegrass and consists of 15 chestnut numbers, including “I’ll Never Shed Another Tear,” “Faded Love,” “Making Plans,” “Columbus Stockade Blues,” and “Fox On The Run.” The numbers are flawlessly performed and the sound mix is fine. Since the title indicates this is Volume 1, one might assume another project might be forthcoming. What’s missing is original material, although the title indicates this is a collection of old favorites. (The band has an all original Christmas project and other recordings with songs from Robertson.) Perhaps the next recording will include the talent within the band for creating original material. (www.ironhorsebluegrass.com)BW