Some bands persist through the decades and not only survive, but flourish and grow. This fine release is a spiritual banquet of great songs and strong deliveries, telling stories that are rich in life’s true wealth.
The Glen Campbell gem “Less Of Me” stands well with New Riders Of The Purple Sage’s fine “Last Lonely Eagle.” Tom Paxton’s “I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound” and Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” reach back to the folk revival of the 1960s. And even further back, we have the Stanley Brothers’ “That Home Far Away” and, of course, Bob Wills’ fine tune is the title track. In between these gems, we are treated to two originals from mandolinist Mike Andes, and a pair of strong songs from guitarist Caleb Cox, including the wondrous “Where The Good Lord Only Knows.” Keeping with the spiritual aspect of this project, the band includes Daniel Lanois’ “The Maker” in this rich program.
The band is ever efficient and on the mark. Chris Sexton handles the bowed strings, adding rich textures throughout. Mitchell Davis’ banjo is an extension of his being and as such fills, speaks and sings. James Cox, on bass, gets to strut his stuff on the title track but a close listen will reveal his expertise for being where he needs to be, when he needs to be there.
This is a recording that will grow on you with repeated listening. With the exception of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” (which may sound too happy), they get into their material and the true depths of its wealth, reminding us that hymns speak to the goodness and truth in this life. You could call them secular hymns, songs that come from the experience of living an intentional life. (Mountain Fever, 1177 Alum Ridge Rd. NW, Willis, VA 24380, www.mountainfever.com.)RCB