This is the second of three CDs planned to celebrate this popular ensemble’s thirtieth anniversary. Led by Sammy Shelor, multi-winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player Of The Year honors, the band continues to garner accolades. Shelor is joined by guitarist and singer Brandon Rickman, bass player and harmony vocalizer Barry Reed, mandolinist and singer Randy Jones, plus accomplished fiddler Mike Hartgrove.
There are numerous highlights here, such as the yearning “The Crime I Didn’t Do” and the band’s new single release “Barely Beat The Daylight In.” For a modern ensemble, Lonesome River Band is thoroughly grounded in tradition. “Sweet Sally Brown” has a classic bluegrass sound as if it came off an unreleased Flatt & Scruggs session. Similarly, “Perfume, Powder And Lead” sounds like a number the Stanley Brothers would record if they were still with us. (In fact, the CD’s closing track is the rousing Curly Ray Cline and Ralph Stanley composition “Dog Gone Shame.”)
Chronology Volume Two is a winner. Fans of the Lonesome River Band, old and new, can only wait for Volume Three and the complete celebration of this excellent band. (Rural Rhythm Records, P.O. Box 750, Mt. Juliet, TN 37121, www.ruralrhythm.com.)RDS