Orchard Creek Band is yet another powerhouse bluegrass ensemble to recently emerge from Colorado’s vibrant and vital bluegrass scene.
Though this is the band’s debut outing, the individual members bring a ton of professional experience to their shared endeavor. It’s no slight to Colorado to mention that nearly all the members have musical roots in eastward musical hotbeds such as Nashville, Appalachia and rural Pennsylvania.
Orchard Creek consists of Dave Richardson on vocals and banjo, Keith Murdock on vocals and dobro, Jan Springer on guitar and vocals, Kevin Slick on vocals and mandolin and Roz Weller on upright bass.
Murdock, Springer and Slick mostly handle things in the songwriting department and they do it with flair. Murdock’s “Dyin’ Town” is a somber ode to a once bucolic hometown now blighted with deserted storefronts and weeds growing through the cracks in the sidewalks.
Slick’s “Walk Beside Me” is a mellow romantic celebration enlivened by his and Springer’s fine harmonies and shared lead vocals.
Springer contributes two songs. “Foldin’” is an edgy love-gone-bad lament that features some delightfully inventive lyrics. The real stunner in this collection is her “Walk In The Woods.” This remarkable song is the narrative of someone who watches a cherished companion of many years sink into a fog of dementia while consoling herself with sweet memories from happier times.
Added to the mix is a sparkling Western Swing-flavored instrumental jaunt on Leon McAuliffe’s “Panhandle Rag” and a stirring rendition of Pierce Pettis’s “Tennessee River.”
Orchard Creek’s instrumental prowess is impeccable throughout and the production is bright and clear as a bell.