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NewFound Road

Live at the Down Home – 2011 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Dr. Tom Bibey

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CDs by NewFound Road

Live CDs can sometimes suffer from quality control issues. Not so here with the NewFound Road CD recorded in Johnson City, Tenn. on Dec. 4, 2010. The recording feels like the listener has a seat at the Down Home and yet the tracks have studio sonic quality. The crowd injects energy, but does not distract.

The band has its roots in gospel music, but stretches out into other genres. There's a Jackson Browne number, These Days, bluegrass, (a high energy rendition of Reuben) and some smooth country, (Tom T. Hall's Memphis) and even a rock number, Ain't No Sunshine. And only in bluegrass can a tune begin as a lullaby and morph into a murder ballad. (Blackadder's Cove.)

The Booher brothers, Joe and Jamey on mandolin and bass, team up Josh Miller (banjo) fiddle ace Jimmy VanCleve of Mountain Heart and the rich lead vocals of Tim Shelton to create a hot young band with a modern sound still rooted in tradition.

Conventional wisdom is that bluegrass is best in a live setting. If you can't get to the Down Home for a show, this CD is the next best thing; live energy but played to perfection in a single take. Excellent work.