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The Grasshoppers

The Grasshoppers – 2000 (Doobie Shea)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by The Grasshoppers

Good bluegrass is likely to come from just about anywhere these days, even from far-flung, remote locales like Caldwell, Idaho, home of The Grasshoppers. Just about any local band can put out their own CD, but precious few are likely to attract the attention of an outfit like Doobie Shea - by bluegrass standards, a major label. Produced by Dan Tyminski, along with Doobie Shea head man Tim Austin (both veterans of the Lonesome River Band), this self-titled debut release is well-balanced and nicely paced, while at the same time highlighting all the elements that make The Grasshoppers such an appealing band.

The most striking are the lead vocals of the band's bass player, Honi Glenn, who also penned 7 of the dozen songs. With a voice that draws favorable comparisons to the likes of Rhonda Vincent and Claire Lynch, she does a good job selling lonesome ballads like "River Of Tears" and gospel tunes like "On My Way Home," and the band's ensemble vocals are enticing as well. Joining her are husband Randy Glenn (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle) and Jeremy's son, Glen Garrett (guitar). Tyminski, a certified bluegrass heavyweight, sits in on mandolin, but stays pretty much out of the limelight, and truthfully, they would have been just fine without him. This is an exceptional band.