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Kind Country

Hard Times – 2019 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Jim Hynes

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CDs by Kind Country

Kind Country is a Minneapolis-based jamgrass septet now with its third full-length album in "Hard Times." They recorded this entirely live in the studio with all members in the same room. They certainly have the requisite instrumentation with mandolin, guitar, fiddle, upright bass, banjo, pedal steel and drums. The lead vocalist is mandolinist Max Graham with fiddler Chris Forsberg and drummer Chris Wittrock adding harmony vocals.

"Luigi" is an instrumental tune that gives each soloist a chance to improvise. Talent abounds. The fiddle/mandolin-driven "Black Rooster" pulsates with invigorating energy like most of the tunes here. "Dead and Gone" is closer to mid-tempo traditional bluegrass while "Wine" is at a slower tempo, fueled by fiddle, mandolin and banjo and with more harmonies than most of the tunes. The closer "Tennessee," the longest track at close to five minutes, is the prototypical acoustic-Dead-like jam tune with Graham's vocals even sounding a bit like Garcia's. Don't fret though. The tune doesn't sound at all like "Tennessee Jed."

Kind Country is an energetic band with plenty of chops.