Bluegrass Patriots

Spring in the Rockies

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To non-bluegrass fans, bluegrass bands all sound the same. To those who listen more closely, there's a world of difference between good and not-so-good bluegrass. Bluegrass Patriots also seem to know the difference, perhaps because they've been in the business for a while, and perhaps because their roots go deeper than Alison Krauss and O Brother, Where Art Thou? Unlike so many contemporary bluegrass bands, they don't have a deep-voiced lead who sounds as though he should be singing country music, and they don't have a 19-year-old mandolinist who is the hottest picker since David Grisman. Instead, Bluegrass Patriots approach Bill Monroe's high lonesome sound in the simplest of fashions. This natural approach manages to deliver fresh takes on old warhorses like "Streets of Baltimore," "Eat at the Welcome Table," and "Down in the Valley." The arrangements are straightforward though always sparkling, from the three-four time of the title track to a bouncy version of A.P. Carter's "Winding Stream." The album closes with a lively oddity, "Paul Bunyan Love," an old Maddox Brothers' song from the '50s. Fans who've been waiting seven long years since Bluegrass Patriots' last album will be pleased that the wait is over.

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