The Road Has No End is another solid effort from Minnesota-based Monroe Crossing. With Lisa Fuglie on fiddle, David Robinson on banjo, Mark Anderson on bass, Derek Johnson on guitar, and Matt Thompson on mandolin, the band does nine originals by bandmembers (all of whom sing) and a total of 14 cuts that span a fairly wide variety of styles.
Among the high points are a very bouncy and nicely-played version of Hank Thompson’s “Foggy River,” a jazzy rocking “Bread And Milk” (what you really need when the winter storms roll in) from Lisa Fuglie, the fine “Last Letter Home” with nice vocal work and very tasteful backing work by Matt Thompson and David Robinson, and Bill Isles’ “Hobos In The Roundhouse” that features some very effective resonator guitar work by banjoist Robinson. “Long Cool Women In A Black Dress” is a rock adaptation which is performed well, but is not as compelling overall. The band delves into the old-time end of the spectrum with Fuglie’s “Cicada” featuring Robinson on frailed banjo. Other notable originals here are Matt Thompson and Bill Phillip’s “Rain Turning Into Snow” with a sweet cross-picking intro by Thompson and very effective vocal work by Fuglie. Overall, yet another nice release by this stalwart band from the North Country. (Monroe Crossing, 5330 Northport Dr., Minneapolis, MN 55429, www.monroecrossing.com.)AW