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IIIrd Tyme Out

John and Mary – 1999 (Rounder)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by IIIrd Tyme Out

IIIrd Tyme Out returns to studio recording following "Live At The MAC," an in-concert tribute to the masters of bluegrass to explore a variety of genres: bluegrass, country, gospel, blues, western swing and a pair of originals , the title track and "Lovin' You, Goin' Blind," rare for group.

Each tune is carefully crafted around the smooth lead voice of Russell Moore. The result is music that will delight longtime fans as well as those new to the band. They can provide the drive necessary for "Blue Ridge Mountain Memories" and "Loving You, Going Blind," but they really shine on the slower, more heartfelt tunes, like "Snow Angel," "Another Evening Alone" or the gospel number, "I Pray My Way Out Of Trouble." Steve Dilling on banjo and Wayne Benson on mandolin/mandola make stellar contributions throughout, especially on the title track. Mike Hartgrove shows why he is the most underrated fiddler in the business. His tasteful playing enhances every song without overpowering the vocals. Ray Deaton provides wonderful bass lines throughout. Dobroist Rob Ickes joins in on a number of tunes to help enhance the sound.

IIIrd Tyme Out is one of the best bands in bluegrass today, and they keep finding new ways to develop their style. This is their best effort to date.