Country Current is part of the public relations arm of the U.S. Department Of The Navy. You have got to love that part of it. I remember seeing Bill Emerson at his latest gig before going in to the Navy to play in the band. If I remember correctly, it was just getting started back then and is still going strong today. It’s a great way for a musician to pursue his first love and get benefits to boot!
There is a great variety of music here, with some material from several of Nashville’s stalwart stars, which sounds more country and could draw in folks who aren’t hip to how great bluegrass music can be. The best material here might be the originals: “Old Ironsides” with its octave fiddle, and “Mailpouch Chew,” a hard-driving look at a diminishing landmark, the old red barn with a sign on the exterior. Regardless of the source of the material, the level of musicianship is topnotch. “Redneck Yacht Club” sounds like the rock-n-roll bluegrass that marks Sam Bush performances. The harmonies are great, as they are throughout this fine project.
If you have ever seen this band, you will want to hear this recording. The fine print on the back of the CD says it is not for sale, but radio play will hopefully be aplenty. (Public Affairs Director, U.S. Navy Band, 617 Warrington Ave. SE, Washington Navy Yard, CD 20374, www.navyband.navy.mil.) RCB