This group based in Ontario, Canada, consists of Doug deBoer (guitar), Rich Koop (bass), Will Meadows (mandolin, guitar), Luke Puckrin (banjo), Marc Roy (guitar), and Shawn Kellett (fiddle). The band pretty much swept the Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards this past year, winning for Will Meadows the Mandolin Player Of The Year, for Rich Koop the Bass Player Of The Year, and for Marc Roy who was inducted into the Hall Of Fame. On top of that, their friend and manager Melissa Sherman won Composer Of The Year and this project was voted Recording Of The Year. Not a bad showing for this very popular group.
Most of the compositions on this project come from the aforementioned Melissa Sherman who contributed “Warm Day In June,” “Marina,” “Rejoice,” “Mamma’s Words,” “Heaven On Earth,” “Money Can’t Buy,” and “Travel Safe.” Fiddler Rick Ricker offers “Shut Up N Drive.” Other tunes include “Echo,” “Long Hard Road,” “Renegade” and “The Mountain.” This is a very good project musically and vocally, but I found the text style on the packaging and booklet very hard to read, even when using a magnifier. Otherwise, fans on both sides of the border will enjoy the music of Hard Ryde. (Hapidawg Productions, 21195 Loyalist Pkwy., Carrying Place, ON, K0K 1L0, Canada, www.hardryde.ca.)BF