“Flowers and Lace” single
Why you should care | Featuring a lush, guitar-centered arrangement, the 1st ’21 single for The Grascals tells the timeless story of how strong love can be even after the years pass by. With its polished harmonies, the chorus of the song is heartfelt profession of love all the more powerful for its simple, direct language (“In my waking hours you’re still my wildest dream/I see lace & flowers every time you smile at me”)—which is destined to become a wedding day classic.
The Gina Furtado Project
Why you should care | Delivering vocals w/characteristic confidence, Furtado unveils the tangled emotions of the pain of abandonment & the persistence of hope on “Gone:” “Why don’t you lock me in a cell/Throw out the key, you might as well/Those memories keep hanging on/And you’re gone.” Prod. by the GRAMMY-nom. Thomm Jutz, this is a classic banjo-driven burner.
“Back to Where We’ve Been” single
Why you should care | For their first single of 2021, Colebrook Road brings the traditional bluegrass burning on “Back to Where We’ve Been.” Even the title itself describes this offering’s sound, as the driving banjo and acoustic guitar takes the listener back to the hills of Appalachia and true roots of American music. Sit back, enjoy, and try not to tap your toe!
Justin Moses – Fall Like Rain LP
Bluegrass at the Crossroads
“Lift Your Voice, Bow Your Head” – single
Why you should care | Written by Jon Weisberger & the late Steve Gulley (whose untimely death in Aug. ’20 is still mourned by the bluegrass community), the series’ 2nd single feat. newcomer Carley Arrowood (fiddle) on lead, w/support from Wayne Benson (mandolin), the Infamous Stringdusters’ Travis Book (bass/vox); Fireside Collective’s Joe Cicero (guitar), & Steve Martin Prize recipient Sammy Shelor of Lonesome River Band (banjo).
“Rivers, Rains and Runaway Trains” single
Why you should care | When you think you have them pegged, Balsam Range surprises again. While their last 2 singles were philosophical & inspirational (and both #1’s), their 1st of ’21 turns to a love song. Drawing a portrait of a man long habituated to careful planning, the song explains how he finds his world turned upside down the instant he sees her—the one. The ultimate “Head says no/Heart says go” confession, this new track is another instant bluegrass classic.
“Just a Guy in a Bar” single
Why you should care | As this new single recalls a legion of country weepers, it’s also a compelling portrait of isolation & regret—one that’s a musical departure for the award-winning sextet. “Just a Guy in a Bar” is built around a gently insistent groove that complements the narrator’s wistful recollections of happier times, summoned as he’s “thumbing through the pictures on my phone.” W/haunting fiddle & atmospheric background vocals underlining the song’s melancholy, listeners familiar w/Sideline’s propulsive, traditional-leaning bluegrass will find a rarely-heard dimension of the group’s sound that emphasizes sensitivity & restraint.