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The Farm Hands

Colors – 2017 (Pioneer)

Reviewed by Devin Adams

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Thankfully, The Farm Hands have made it out of the field and back into the recording studio. "Colors" is proud to be all about family, God and country, three legs of the milking stool that is bluegrass. Recently proclaimed by the state of Tennessee as musical ambassadors, The Farm Hands are "thankful to be able to take a little bit of Tennessee to places across the nation," and "Colors" is recorded proof. The production is clean and not over-done, and the pickin' is a solid, foot stompin' good time (thanks in part to guest Kimberly Bibb's fine fiddle work), but what really causes "colors" to shine are the lyrics.

We start off by taking a trip down the "Rural Route," a tribute to the back roads of America that is perfect for a Sunday drive. The title track stands out with clever lyrics, suggesting that we add "Army green and Air Force blue" among others to the traditional red, white and blue of America. "They Don't Make 'Em Like My Daddy Anymore" is a glimpse through a son's eyes of his father that many will relate to.

The second half leans on God and faith, as nearly all the songs are gospel. "The Four of Us," cleverly written by Tedd Graves, brother to Tim, is the true tale of an old man that lives by himself, but is never alone because there is always "the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost and me." "Bible in the Drawer" is a wonderfully imaginative look at the life of a hotel room Bible and all the lives that it has touched through the years. Finally, The Farm Hands wrap up with a rollicking version of "Anywhere is Home" and some outstanding fiddle work from Bibb, and hot guitar, banjo and Dobro picking from Keith Tew, Don Hill and Tim Graves respectively, all while Daryl Mosley holds things together on bass.

Too few are recordings that capture such imaginative lyrics and perspectives, but that was no problem for The Farm Hands. "Colors" is bluegrass music as it should be: fun and done up right.