From Cane Spur, Ark., The Cleverlys are a family ensemble that includes Dr. Digger Cleverly (guitar), Ricky Lloyd Cleverly (bass, kick drum, vocoder), Sock Cleverly (fiddle), DVD Cleverly (banjo), and Cub Cleverly (mandolin). The band’s approach to their brand of bluegrass music borders on traditional in instrumentation, but includes music sources as far afield as rap, rock, and country. While having a tongue-in-cheek delivery, the band is very serious in their musicianship, vocals, and harmonies.
This is the band’s major label release—a culmination of their popularity they’ve earned in their concert appearances around the country. Here, they’ve selected covers of non-bluegrass songs such as Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” The Zombies’ “She’s Not (Ain’t) There,” Eiffel 65’s “Blue (Da Be Dee),” and a take on Linda Perry’s “What’s Going On (What’s Up).” Also included is a nice version of “Wait A Minute” and an interesting cover of Ralph Stanley’s “Oh Death.” There’s also an original song about an alien encounter called “Girl In The Sky.” The last item, “End Of The Record,” is just the members discussing Australian accents, movie cliches, and general chatter.
Vocally and instrumentally, this band is quite good. The harmonies are tight and the picking is flawless. There’s a cleverness here with The Cleverlys that should not be overlooked. (Mountain Home Music Company, P.O. Box 829, Arden, NC 28704, www.mountainhomemusiccompany.com.)BF