Blue Moon Rising is a Tennessee-based traditional bluegrass band formed only a couple of years prior to this 2002 recording session, but they sound like a veteran group due to their flawless vocals and extremely tight playing. Not one of the dozen selections is less than excellent. Guitarist Chris West, who composed six of the dozen tracks and co-wrote another, is equally adept at singing lead or harmony; his "Dead Man on the Run" serves as a fast-paced opener. Up next is Justin Moses' breakneck instrumental "Locust Hill," which features some of the finest solos by each member of the band; he overdubs fiddle, banjo, and rhythm guitar on this song. Keith Garrett, heard on both mandolin and guitar, penned the mournful yet upbeat "Moonshine Hard Times," as well as singing lead. Dobro player Rob Ickes makes a guest appearance on several tracks, while bassist Tim Tipton provides a solid rhythm for the band. The gospel-influenced "You Are Not Alone," written by Susan Moses (Justin's mother), is an inspired closer to this top-notch release. This CD is available through the band's website at www.bluemoonrising.com.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden