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Michelle Nixon and Drive

What More Should I Say? – 2005 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Michelle Nixon and Drive

The thing that sets bluegrass music apart from its rural ancestor, old time music, or its big city cousin, country, is something that's most often referred to as "Drive." It is the unflagging tempo of the banjo rolls and mandolin fills, underpinned by a persistent bass note, and it also happens to be what Michelle Nixon calls her backing band.

"Drive" is an appropriate moniker for the band, as they support Nixon ably here on a selection of mostly uptempo fare that fits her strong voice perfectly. A nicely paced "Roses In The Snow" leans towards country-oriented material, a tendency reinforced by Tom T. and Dixie Hall's "I Know The Rain," and a duet with Whisperin' Bill Anderson on Melba Montgomery's "We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds."

In the end, however, this is still a bluegrass band and a fine one at that. Guitarist Patrick Robertson shines both on his instrument and a pair of lead vocals, while the remainder of the group lives up to their name throughout.