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Sam Hill

Haunted By A Memory – 2001 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Jonathan Colcord

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CDs by Sam Hill

Sam Hill is easily one the best unsigned bluegrass acts in the U.S. Theirdriving contemporary/traditional sound equals that of most top-notch southeastern touring bands. The funny part is that they hail from the Pacific Northwest. The quartet is marked by great songwriting and great delivery.

"Borrowed Time," written by mandolinist and vocalist Jeff Smith is a fast-paced number reminiscent of classics such as "Hit Parade Of Love." Smith also contributes the title track, and five others. His vocal style rests oddly somewhere between that of John Duffey and Del McCoury, and is always enjoyable. The band consists Doug Sammons on guitar/vocals, Dee Ann Davidshofer on bass, Pat Kramer on fiddle/vocals, and Peter Schwimmer on banjo/vocals. Kramer contributes three songs here with "Tennessee Mine," "The Gospel Train" and the instrumental "St. Charles." Sammons and Schwimmer throw in one each with "The Most Lonesome Man Around" and "Kick It Off Already" respectively.

Confident in their original material, the band includes only two standards with the Stanley Brothers "Too Late To Cry," and the traditional "Darlin' Corey." Sam Hill is constantly on the mark instrumentally and vocally.