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NewFound Road

Somewhere Between – 2005 (Mountain Home)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by NewFound Road

With roots in Southern Gospel, New Found Road's third album (after two all-gospel releases) finds them expanding into more secular fare, from the McCoury-like "These Old Blues" to an original ballad, "Love at First Light."

Lead singer Tim Shelton gives the group a strong vocal presence, best showcased on the Tom T. Hall song "That's How I Got To Memphis." Instrumentally, comparisons could and should be made to Mountain Heart, Blue Highway and Rock County. Rhonda Vincent sideman Rob Baker on mandolin and Carl Williams, Jr. on banjo get the most exposure on "Lonesome Feelin'," which opens with consecutive riffs from Baker and Williams before swelling into a nice four-part harmony on the chorus.

In these days of slicker pop and country-oriented 'bluegrass' albums, it's worth noting that this self-produced disc sounds both flawlessly pristine and authentically traditional at the same time. The group's gospel beginnings show up on the final two songs, proving that Doyle Lawson doesn't have the market cornered on switching between the secular and the sacred without losing an ounce of quality. (800-507-1361)