European bluegrass bands are known for having some great chops and this group is no different. Hailing from Belgium, Rawhide has produced a nice project of selections pulling from a variety of genres and sources, including Kiss, Creedence Clearwater, Mamas & Papas, Men At Work, Doobie Brothers, Cat Stevens, and George Harrison. Then there are a couple from Peter Wernick, Boone Creek, Herb Pedersen, and Wes Golding. Before you run, be advised this is bluegrass with all the elements that we are familiar with, and it’s quite refreshing to hear these songs arranged and delivered in a bluegrass setting complete with great harmonies and great instrumentation. The band consists of Dirk Peeraer (resonator guitar), Bert Van Bortel (guitar), Thierry Schoysman (banjo), Dirk Fonteyn (fiddle), Jeff Cardey (mandolin), and Dimi Laveren (bass).
Everyone shares vocals and they blend nicely. A surprising collection of songs are presented that include “I Was Made For Loving You” (Kiss), “One Way Track” (Boone Creek), “Down Under” (Men At Work), “Listen To The Music” (Doobies), “Looking Out My Back Door” (CCR), “Monday, Monday” (Mamas & Papas), and “Something” (George Harrison). The band pulls off a wonderful a cappella version of Doc Pomus’ doo-wop classic “Teenager In Love.” Instrumentally, the group blasts through Bill Monroe’s “Sugar Loaf Mountain” and a Cardey original “Cardey’s Breakdown.” This is another example of good bluegrass music coming from our friends across the pond. Well done Rawhide. (Thierry Schoysman, Oudergenseweg 58, B-3080 Tervuren, Belgium, www.rawhide.be.)BF