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Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice

The Mountains Are Calling Me Home – 2017 (Mountain Fever)

Reviewed by Devin Adams

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Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice has a couple of great things going on on "The Mountains Are Calling Me Home." Foremost, the quality of the songs included; the selection is simply genius. Listeners are almost dared to find a song that is not top notch, catchy or meaningful. It cannot be done; the songs are of the highest quality. Secondly, through the years Sisk has developed a distinguishable voice among his peers. Granted, Sisk is not completely unmistakable like Ralph Stanley or Willie Nelson, but when he steps up to sing, he is not difficult to recognize.

Clever writing from the likes of Ronnie Bowman, Tim Stafford and Wayne Winkle is on display throughout. "What Goes Up," "Shape Up or Ship Out" and "Dying to Live Again" are beautifully crafted and contain great play-on-word lyrics.

Songs from the heart are also plentiful; take "Money (Will Not Save You)" or "Take Time for Little Children," for example. These tunes could change a heart of stone into gold. The Stanley Brothers make an appearance with an upbeat cover of "Darling Do You Know Who Loves You," and a couple of Jimmy Martin tunes make the cut as well, including, "You'll Be A Lost Ball," which closes out the recording.

In all, the blend of newly written songs along with those renewed from days gone by create a smooth and highly enjoyable concoction resulting in a truly enjoyable listening experience. Sisk's vocal efforts are put on display throughout the 11 songs, and he shines like the sun.

The production and sound recording are of the highest standard. Each instrument sounds exceptional and is mastered perfectly with distinguished solo breaks as well as a defined full blend from the band. Banjo picking from Jason Davis stands out, as does the fiddle work from Jamie Harper.

"The Mountains Are Calling Me Home" is a superb release of contemporary bluegrass and gospel music that is honest, enjoyable and well executed.