Lorraine Jordan put together Carolina Road in 1999. Today they're one of the hardest working bands in the bluegrass business, wowing crowds with their close harmonies, sparking musicianship, and inventive arrangements. While Carolina Road do indeed get back to basics on their second recording for Rural Rhythm, they also have a progressive element to their music that will keep fans on their toes. "Cold Carolina Snow," an original by new lead guitarist and singer Tommy Long, recalls the relaxed swing of Bob Wills, especially in the fiddling of Josh Goforth and Long's guitar. Long's poignant vocal is perfect for this tale of infidelity and revenge. There's also a hint of swing in Goforth's fiddling on "Sharecropper's Son," a song of hard work and hard lives driven by Ben Greene's banjo and Jordan's mandolin, and "I Know You're Married But I Love You Still," a cheatin' song without any cheatin'. The old Jimmy Dean hit "I Know What It Means to Be Lonesome" bounces along on a rhythm that's part ragtime and part Piedmont blues, with more blazing fiddle work by Goforth and a brief driving solo from standup bass man Eddie Biggerstaff. Other tunes mine familiar themes with admirable results. "I'll Be Over You" is a tale of heartache and desolation that claims that only death will bring the end to true love. Long provides a desolate vocal that makes the over the top emotion ring true. The band pays tribute to the roots of country and bluegrass with a cover of "Bald Knob Arkansas" featuring a lead vocal by Jordan and more fine fiddle work from Goforth, and closes with the clever "Sing a Bluegrass Song." It has a rousing, singalong chorus and a verse that strings together the titles of familiar bluegrass standards.
AllMusic Review by j. poet