True Grass Again

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road

Pinecastle Records, 2018

http://www.carolinaroadband.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/30/2018

The last time Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road released an album – three years ago – it was called Country Grass and it found them joining forces with top country artists. This time, True Grass Again brings us, what else, 11 new recordings of traditional bluegrass sounds.

The album leads with Jordan's favorite tune, “True Grass,” where harmonizing vocals lead into fiddle jamming and plucky banjos as the band sings about saving the bluegrass sounds they adore so much. The song exemplifies what the album is truly about: three part harmonies, twin fiddles, mandolins, and banjos all working in unison to produce glorious sounds. nbtc__dv_250

And speaking of banjos, “Run Little Fox” is a freewheelin' ditty, a little on the haunting side, though Ben Greene's banjo skills run wild all over the listen. Josh Goforth provides the fiddles on the album, and much like Greene's banjo, is present everywhere but really shines on the upbeat, danceable fun of “Poor Monroe.”

Vocally, harmonies are a very strong part of the ensemble, with multiple voices converging through many octaves on “Preaching Praying Singing” and the timeless harmonizing of “I Don't Want To Lose You.” While Jordan takes the lead for the most part, she gets plenty of help from her male counterparts who vary in range and delivery. 

Though the album is certainly bluegrass, there are other influences present. “Portrait Of The Blues” is definitely blues influenced and “Little Country Home” is a softer, warm, folk influenced number. Elsewhere, on “I Hear Angels Calling Your Name,” Americana is brought in, though you could certainly argue the entire album bares a strong resemblance to the genre, too.

Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road call North Carolina home and their music sure seems like they would with a rich, textured, lush experience that brings us back to a simpler, more genuine time in music. It's no surprise that this album found its way high on the Bluegrass charts as it's an exceptional listen from a supremely talented group.

Rating: A-

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