Tuesday, December 8, 2015

CD Review - The FREE Rangers

Image635851091428099749      It’s amazing the power that music has to bring old memories from the deepest parts of your mind back to the here and now. The new CD just released by The FREE Rangers, from the Richmond, Virginia area, has been doing that to me for a couple of weeks now….. 

     Just for a little history, this music has been in the developmental stages since 1979, when the core of the band started out as a duo called “The Stable Hands,” in Flagstaff, AZ. I’ve had the pleasure to see it blossom since the very beginning, thirty six years ago…… It was special then, and it’s only grown stronger, more pleasant and personally endearing with time.

       “The Stable Hands” consisted of Debbe Peck on vocals and rhythm guitar, and her husband, Steve Peck, on vocals, bass and some pretty fancy yodeling. They had great harmonies, a personable stage presence and a song list that covered country, bluegrass and Western tunes that gave them their own, one-of-a-kind sound. And did I mention that Debbe and Steve were, and still are, two of the dearest friends my wife, Mary Ann, and I have ever had? Maybe that’s why I’ll hear a certain inflection in one of their voices, or a specific harmony line and another good old time from way back then surprises me by coming back to light. There has been a lot of reflection going on in my head lately thanks to this new CD!

Friday, December 4, 2015

CD Review - The Grascals - AND THEN THERE'S THIS...

Image635848084432686140Hit the play button and you will immediately hear a sneaky Brown County Breakdown inspired intro to The Grascals first release since 2013. Right away you know that you are going to have to hang on tight. And what a ride it is. “and then there's this...” is worth the wait.

The choice of music and the order in which they are rattled off will keep you and your bluegrass soaked brain guessing. I Know Better, a straight-up hard driving bluegrass tune is followed by the mellow, fingerpicked guitar, gentle on my mind-esque, Road of Life, perfectly placed. And so it goes.

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