Mountain Heart

Wide Open

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Wide Open, the third collection for Skaggs Family Records from lauded gospel-bluegrass collective Mountain Heart, begins appropriately with a blistering road song called "Traveler's Prayer." It's a fitting opener for a band that's managed to win over legions of both secular and non-secular listeners since the late-'90s. Relying on impeccable musicianship and relentless touring, the group, with this the fifth record into their career, have won numerous awards, and rightly so. Producer Mark Bright (Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans) gives Wide Open a crisp, clean, and subtly commercial sheen that highlights the group's spiritual ("God and Everybody," "Miracle") and straight-picking sensibilities ("I'm Just Here to Ride the Rain"), especially on fiddler Jimmy VanCleve's spur-snapping instrumental "Deadwood."

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