Carolina Road

The Road That Took You There

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In the wake of Alison Krauss and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a new bluegrass band seems to be popping up every 15 minutes. Many of them are quite good, though some hardcore fans remain skeptical about modern variations. Carolina Road leans toward the more traditional side of the genre, meaning the singers still sound like they're from the country. The world they sing about also seems to be a throwback to simpler -- and more violent times. In cheating songs ("Cold Carolina Snow"), somebody's bound to wind up dead; in religious songs ("Living on the Hallelujah Side"), all good Christians go to heaven. It's also not uncommon to run such divergent material back to back, painting a Saturday night-Sunday morning view of life. Family life's also important ("Take Me Home to Mama"), and death ("Family Graveyard") is ever present. Carolina Road may not have anything new to add to traditional bluegrass, but for those who love Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs, there's nothing to change. With two good singers (Tim Massey and David McKenzie Guthrie), a dozen solid songs, and fine musicianship all around, The Road That Took You There will please anyone who likes bluegrass the way they used to make it.

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