County has developed a reputation as one of the best independent record labels when it comes to issuing old-time music from an earlier era. They've become so good at it, in fact, that an album like Fast as Time Can Take Me by the Troublesome Creek String Band will take some CD buyers by surprise. The Troublesome Creek String Band, featuring vocalist/fiddler Rick Martin, banjoist Steve Arkin, guitarist/vocalist Dick Harrington, and bassist/vocalist Lorie Lichtenwalner, aren't an unearthed string band from yesteryear, after all, but contemporary performers. The irony of all contemporary old-time string bands, however, is that they work real hard to develop their style within the limits of a very simple, pre-bluegrass format. Fast as Time Can Take Me's set list, for example, borrows from old-time performers including the Carter Family ("River of Jordan"), Texas Gladden ("The Three Babes"), and Dock Boggs ("Danville Girl"), and the songs are performed with simple, fiddle/guitar/banjo/bass arrangements. The only discernible difference here, and one that gives the Troublesome Creek String Band an interesting edge, is the band's ability to remain -- even with a simple setup -- quite eclectic. With three vocalists, it's easy for the band to alternate lead singers and mix up the harmony vocals, and the band also eagerly tackles a number of instrumental tracks. For those who love old-time music and can get over the idea of owning a non-scratchy recording, Fast as Time Can Take Me is the real deal.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.