There is always a new batch of singers coming onto the bluegrass scene every few years or so. What’s cool about the bluegrass genre is that you usually hear about them when they’re young, most likely when they’re playing in family bands. When they grow up, they either branch off on their own or take a different route in life. For vocalist Jesse Gregory, her path led to East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass Music Program, where she will graduate this year.
On her new album, Faultline, she gets to showcase her talent, backed by musicians Alison Krauss, Sierra Hull, Tim Crouch, Justin Moses, Harold Nixon, Randy Kohrs, Jay Weaver, and Clay Hess, who co-produced this album with Kohrs. This is a good effort for an early album, as it showcases a voice that is strong and distinctive. Gregory has the vocal chops that will give her a bright future if she keeps moving forward.
Faultline is produced a bit on the slick side, and you can tell that it was pieced together over a long period of time as it has little in the way of an organic feel to it. But, that’s a good problem to have, as many early, self-produced recordings can be on the rough side. You come away from listening to this thinking, after you’ve been impressed by the vocals, that it will be exciting to hear Gregory step out and create a sound all her own once she graduates. This is a good introduction to a singer that we’ll all hopefully get to see grow and prosper in the bluegrass world in the years to come. (www.jessegregory.com.)DH