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The Grascals

Life Finds a Way – 2012 (Mountain Home)

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

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The Grascals' debut release with Mountain Home Music, "Life Finds A Way," couples the instrumental prowess that has become expected of them with heavier themes. The title implies a journey, and the sextet has had an interesting one. Since forming eight years ago, they have garnered multiple IBMA Entertainer of the Year awards and Grammy nominations.

The change from Rounder gave the group a renewed energy and new perspective as well as a new recording venue - their own studio. "It was the first time we went somewhere else to be in the studio. We were there by ourselves, no distractions. It was a beautiful setting. Everything came off like clockwork," said mandolin player Danny Roberts.

Grascals albums typically contain their fair share of covers, and the choices here are strong, especially Sweet Baby James and two Harley Allen gems, the poignant Pass It On, which says that you can either pass on your love or your sins to your children and Still They Call Me Love.

However, the album still finds the band is digging its collective teeth into composing as they co-wrote 5 of the 13 songs including the title cut with help from Dierks Bentley. The highlight is the powerful jam Eleven Eleven, where the band's synergy is most evident and Kristin Scott Benson's banjo really shines alongside Roberts' mandolin and Jeremy Abshire's fiddle. The disc case has multiple folds for thank yous and liner notes. It seems unintentionally indicative of the group's continued growth.