Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice has been on a roll for more than a decade now, and the poster children for traditional bluegrass show no signs of slowing up with their latest release, The Mountains Are Calling Me Home. The album already boasts a bona fide hit with “What Goes Around Comes Around,” but more is sure to follow from this 11-track CD that is solid from top to bottom.
In 2012, Heart Of A Song won IBMA Album Of The Year, and “A Far Cry From Lester And Earl” took Song Of The Year. Sisk followed that up by taking Male Vocalist Of The Year in 2013 and the band took the 2014 Bluegrass Band Of The Year from SPBGMA. “Longneck Blues,” from the album Poor Boy’s Pleasure took SPBGMA’s 2016 Recorded Event Of The Year, and Sisk won Male Vocalist Of The Year.
The current makeup of Ramblers Choice is longtime banjo player Jason Davis; Jonathan Dillon on mandolin/vocals; Jamie Harper on fiddle/vocals; Kameron Keller on bass/vocals, and Aaron Ramsey on guitar. Davis is one of the top banjo players in bluegrass today and offers drive that is not always easy to come by. The other instruments blend just right, and Sisk offers such a distinct and genuine voice, that his stories play just as well on radio as they do live. While there isn’t a weak spot to be found, the title-track (as well as “What A Way To Go,” “Darling Do You Know Who Loves You,” and “Shape Up Or Ship Out”) stand out as the type of story songs that Sisk fans love.
This is definitely a must-have for those who value good vocals and bluegrass picking with drive. It’s an easy choice, and the perfect CD to have in the player on the way to a festival. (Mountain Fever Records, 1177 Alum Ridge Rd. NW, Willis, VA 24380, www.mountainfever.com.)MKB