New Side Record
One glance at the title of this album should tell you these are the songs most requested when the Mill Run Bluegrass Band plays out. Given that there are twenty songs, the band must spend a large part of their shows fending off or fulfilling requests.
Listening to the recorded results, it’s easy to see why they’re requested. Begin with the song choices. They’re excellent tunes, reflecting good writing, sing-along melodies, and strong emotion. Perhaps as many as 14 of them have classic or semi-classic bluegrass or country status—“Roses In The Snow,” “Good Woman’s Love,” “Rose Colored Glasses,” “There Goes My Everything,” “Loving Her Was Easier,” Merle Haggard’s “Fugitive.” Songs don’t get much better.
The other half of the equation is that Mill Run can really put the song across, instrumentally and vocally. Bob Goff, Jr., is an excellent lead singer—very powerful and with a sharp, cutting edge to his voice. His leads on Neal Allen’s “Singer,” “Rose Colored Glasses,” and “Loving Her Was Easier” are not to be missed. His wife, Billie Sue, is also an impressive singer. She’s added a slight rasp, more power, and a throatier, Southern gospel feel to her voice. She really hits it on “L.A. International Airport,” the brilliantly-written “Brown To Blue,” “There Goes My Everything,” and the achingly beautiful “If My Heart Had Windows.” Also worth mentioning is “Only Miles,” written and sung by the Goffs’ daughter, Cori Larson.
Ultimately, Mill Run doesn’t really alter much of the better-known song arrangements. They don’t really need to. Playing and singing them so well, however, lets the quality of the song shine through unhindered and makes this album a pleasure to hear. (www.millrunbluegrassband.com)BW