In many ways, this new album should be a coming out party for the Snyder Family Band. Family groups filled with young musicians can be fun, yet cute. But, the members of the Snyder Family, out of Lexington, N.C., have reached a level of bluegrass virtuosity that treads its own water with music that interests the casual and discerning listener alike.
The new album, Wherever I Wander, finds the group expanding their sound while staying inside the bluegrass genre. Father, Bud, ably holds down the bass chair while his teenage daughter Samantha and son, Zeb, take the music to a high level. Samantha plays fiddle and mandolin while Zeb concentrates on guitar and mandolin. Their talent level has always been high, but their ability to bring that gift out on their instruments has reached critical mass.
The album begins with a contemporary bluegrass instrumental called “New River Rapids.” Written by Zeb, it morphs mid-tune into a Celtic romp that lets the listener know that all genres are welcome. Samantha has become an excellent fiddler, having played the instrument since she was three years old. She displays that talent unabashedly on the five cuts she wrote for this project. Zeb adds three originals to the mix, and shows his love for southern rock on the Lynyrd Skynyrd song “Swamp Music” as well as a wonderful take on “Highway Call,” written by Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers. Produced by Balsam Range’s Tim Surrett, there is a lot to soak up here on this impressive new recording by the ever-evolving Snyder Family. (Mountain Home, P.O. Box 572, Boone, NC 28607, www.mountainhomemusic.com.)DH