Thursday, September 19, 2013

Prescription Bluegrass Reviews: Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road

Image635152127736149073You’re gonna love this CD! It’s as simple as that….. This twelve song release on Pinecastle Records is a solid musical endeavor bound to win Lorraine and the boys new fans. With power house vocalists and exceptional instrumentalists, they have all their bluegrass bases covered. Six original songs make a very strong statement as to how prolific this band can be, and the six cover songs are all well chosen and thought out as to how well they fit the band’s direction.

Lorraine wrote two of her songs with Terry Foust, “Livin’ Like I’m Dying,” which she also sings lead on, and “Hold Me One More Time.” She definitely needs to write more often with Mr. Foust! Both songs are cohesive lyrically and melodically, and, more important, they’re memorable and catchy. Her own “Bluegrass Barn,” sung by Tommy Long, is one her long time bluegrass fans are going to enjoy.

Ben Greene…… one of the finest banjo players out there today! I don’t know how to say that any better or more direct. His feel and dexterity are superb, and he drives this band like a Ford Power Stroke diesel engine. Listen to his licks and rolls on the CD’s only instrumental, “Liza Jane,” and you’ll get a glimpse of his originality, too. There’s no “float like a butterfly” here, it’s all STING! The newest member of the band, upright bassist John Bradley hooks the rhythm perfectly in time with Ben’s 5-string push and Lorraine’s masterful mandolin “chop” to make the songs tick-tock along like a metronome.

I’ve been a fan of singer/guitarist/song-writer Tommy Long since their last CD. He has a way of weaving his words that I find very genuine and right on point, his story lines never get lost or drift off. Every word counts for the sum total, and he always seems to find just the right word to fit the situation. His timing, both singing and playing, is dead on and he is very spare with his lyrics. It’s a real art form to use fewer words but still tell the complete story. His song, “I Heard You Call His Name Last Night,” is a good one, and I find myself pushing REPLAY time and again! It’s my favorite song on the CD. Tommy also wrote a gospel gem with band mate Josh Goforth, “I Saw The Golden Stairs,” that is another favorite. Tommy sings lead on nine of the twelve songs here and his voice is always expressive and distinct.

This CD was produced by band member Josh Goforth at Wesley Easter’s Eastwood Studios, Cana, Virginia, as was their previous CD. Josh helped produce the last one, but turning him loose to handle the reins this time made for a different, livelier sound than they got before. Mr. Easter is THE man to go to for acoustic recording, he is excellent at his craft, and I’ve had the pleasure of hearing a lot of his recordings. There is a warmth to his studio and his technical expertise picks up every nuance of the music. Wesley plays his studio like a fine instrument that he has mastered. He knows all it’s quirks and subtleties and uses them to the artist’s advantage. Going back was a very wise decision.

Now for Mr. Goforth……… what a talent! His twin fiddles on the very first song pulled my ears in immediately! His talents on fiddle, mandolin, bass and guitar, plus his studio savvy make him this CD’s ace in the hole. He sings lead on “Song Of The French Broad,” an old traditional song that he wrote a chorus for, he wrote “Suitcase Of Your Heart” and co-wrote the afore mentioned “I Saw The Golden Stairs” with Tommy Long. What I really love is his three finger “Merle Travis/Doc Watson” style finger pickin’. That’s the closest I can come to describing it, but, whatever he calls it, it adds a bounce and a groove to a song that automatically makes me smile. He uses it very sparingly, so when he starts pullin’ on that guitar, it jumps out of the speakers! There is a lot of song differentiation on this release that make the listener pay attention just to see what’s coming up next, a waltz, sizzling bluegrass, a country feeling two step, a gospel sing along? All those different feels are there and they did a great job with song sequence.

This CD really brought out the best in everyone involved, and I have to say YEP….. add this one to your collection. You’re going to be hearing this one on the radio, and if you listen to your copy of it enough, you’ll be hearing all these songs in your head as well.


1 comment:

  1. Hello Bill, Thanks for the kind words..As always great reviews of new Bluegrass releases. Great web page .. Just wanted to THANK YOU and your staff of reviewer's, for all that you do for bluegrass music..Wesley Easter Eastwood Studio


ALL comments are moderated and must be approved by the administrator of this blog. SPAM Comments, HATE Comments and general dis-respect will be ignored and deleted. Opposite opinion comments will be posted if presented in a polite and professional approach.

Subscribe Now: RSS Reader