IIIrd Tyme Out

Living on the Other Side – 1997 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Steve Gardner

CDs by IIIrd Tyme Out

IIIrd Tyme Out is back with their fifth album, and this time it is an all gospel effort. While likable for the most part, there are a few times when the band sounds more like it's playing adult contemporary pop music than bluegrass. On songs, such as "Across the Miles," the contemporary influences are just a little too strong for even a modern bluegrass recording.

There are many good bluegrass songs however. One favorite is the lead-off cut, "He'll Take You In," a fun one in the old call-and-response style of gospel bluegrass. If you like good oldfashioned bluegrass music, then you should enjoy the final cut, "Heading for the City," a rollicking tune with Steve Dilling adding some fine banjo breaks in between verses. The melody recalls "Crying Holy Unto the Lord" that creates a further link to the traditional bluegrass performers such as Bill Monroe or the Stanleys. Earl Scruggs' guitar playing is featured on an old Flatt and Scruggs song "Working on the Road to Gloryland," although not very prominently.

Overall, this is a fine album with fine singing from Russell Moore. Although not as solid as it could be, most songs are enjoyable.