Album Reviews

Pert Near Sandstone

Discovery of Honey

Artist:     Pert Near Sandstone

Album:     Discovery of Honey

Label:     Self Released

Release Date:     11/03/2016


After ten years and seven previous albums, Pert Near Sandstone have proven their proficiency when it comes to creating a sound invested in bluegrass, but filled with modern urgency and enticement. Theirs is an approach that shows full allegiance to the essential elements of a back porch delivery, flush with fiddles, mandolins, banjos, dobro and washboard, along with a contemporary sensibility that finds a certain kinship with artists like the Steep Canyon Rangers, Sam Bush, Mountain Heart and other outfits that encapsulate old fashioned picking and pacing within their populist precepts.  

Certain songs stand out immediately — “Bloom Again,” “Animal Instinct,” “Getaway,” “Uncover Me” and an upbeat cover of the traditional standard “Hard Times Pass Me By” being among the best of the bunch — although the set as a whole shows a credence and consistency that ensures overall appeal throughout. So while Pert Near Sandstone may not be as well known as their contemporaries, it’s clear that they aim for an equally high standard. That, in  turn, makes Discovery of Honey a revelation in a clear sense, a set of songs that’s as rousing and robust as any countrified collective on a banner marquee. There’s plenty of bluegrass competition out there these days, and it’s no small challenge to keep pace with skill and content. To their credit, Pert Near Sandstone prove themselves well up to the task. Good stuff indeed.  

-Lee Zimmerman

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