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Dead Men's Hollow

Angels' Share – 2010 (Acoustic Americana)

Reviewed by Greg Yost

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If you like your traditional gospel music with a nice helping of harmony vocals, then you will love "Angels' Share," the fourth full-length studio effort from Northern Virginia's Dead Men's Hollow. Gospel music has always been a cornerstone of the Dead Men's Hollow sound, especially at live performances. Fans had been requesting an all-gospel album for years, and the 11 tracks here were worth waiting for.

While the sextet's collective instrumental abilities are clear, it is their tight harmonies that steal the show. Dead Men's Hollow expertly combines the members' six unique voices (four female and two male) to create a sound that manages to maintain a spiritual tone regardless if the song is reverent or celebratory.

Rhythm guitarist Amy Nazarov's Satan Get Behind Me is reminiscent of a cheery Sunday School song while bassist Jared Creason's Prodigal Days has a traditional bluegrass feel to it. Two of the most memorable songs are both a cappella performances - Make Sure That You're Right With The Lord is a rousing gospel sing-along and When Jesus Wept is a haunting choral piece sung in the round.

In February, the Washington Area Music Association named "Angels' Share" the top Washington, D.C. area bluegrass recording for 2010 at its 25th annual Washington Area Music Awards (The Wammies). "Angels' Share" beat out entries from notable artists like Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie Band, Dede Wyland & Mama Tried and Randy Waller & The Country Gentlemen - further proof of the quality of this band and its recording.