Album Reviews

Lonesome River Band

Bridging the Tradition

Artist:     Lonesome River Band

Album:     Bridging the Tradition

Label:     Mountain Home Music Company

Release Date:     03/19/2016


Lonesome River Band’s ability to bridge tradition is a matter of interpretation. The fact is, they do hold tight to tradition, an old school bluegrass band that obviously has reference for their roots and the determination to carry it forward.

There’s little evidence on Bridging the Tradition that they are willing to tamper with the template. Fans of mountain music will find some stirring examples of it herein, from the uplifting ramble of “Anything To Make Her Mine” and “Old Swinging Bridge” to the sublime and celebratory “Rocking of the Cradle” and “Showing My Age.” Banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle and high lonesome harmonies share turns in the spotlight, making for an authentic brew that ought to delight anyone with an appreciation for back porch melodies as practiced by a band with the ability to match skill with showmanship. Although most of the tunes are covers — including a Ralph Stanley song (the rollicking “Rock Bottom”) and a traditional tune (“Boats Up the River”) tossed in for good measure — it’s a seamless set-up given that the band treat each track as if it was their own.

Lonesome River Band demonstrates the fact that when you tap tradition, it’s often all that’s needed to maintain momentum and keep the music moving forward.

– Lee Zimmerman

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