Before the introduction of CDs, much of the music of the Kentucky Colonels was difficult to acquire. Now over the last couple of decades, just about everything the band recorded, including some live performances, is available. Roland has his own band, but in this case, he invited an aggregation of top-notch artists to join him in a salute to the original music made by The Colonels from the early 1960s.
Listeners can enjoy banjo player Gina Furtado (Chris Jones & The Night Drivers), Russ Carson (Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder), and Kristin Scott Benson (The Grascals), among others. Roland has included Darin & Brooke Aldridge on vocals, as well as Lindsay Lou and others, making a list of all the guests too long to include here.
The instrumental work sparkles. IBMA Guitarist Of The Year (2017) Molly Tuttle turns in some impressive guitar work on “I Am A Pilgrim” and “Soldier’s Joy”/“Ragtime Annie.” The sounds bring back memories of Roland’s guitar playing brother, Clarence, while other licks are included in the Kentucky Colonels style. Similar appreciation is found in the fiddle work of Jeremy Garrett, Brittany Haas, Patrick McAvinue, Lyndsay Pruett, and Kimber Ludiker. Jeremy Darrow and Jon Weisberger handle all the bass duties, and Roland turns in his enduring mandolin chops, made familiar from decades of playing these numbers.
While there are no new songs or tunes included, one is reminded of the important catalog of work from brothers Roland and Clarence, which was recognized by their inclusion into the IBMA Hall Of Fame in 2017 and 2016 respectively. If you can’t find your favorite original Kentucky Colonels recordings, this will make a fine substitute. (Mountain Home Music Company, P.O. Box 829, Arden, NC 28704, www.mountainhomemusiccompany.com.)BW