Black Music Matters Festival

The Circuit Riders

Let the Ride Begin – 2007 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by The Circuit Riders

The Circuit Riders, a fine new five-piece bluegrass band owes its beginnings to the legendary band The Country Gentlemen. Three of the five band members - Greg Corbett (banjo), Darin Aldridge (mandolin) and Billy Gee (bass) - were long-time members of the Gents and toured with Charlie Waller right up until his death in 2004. The band is a namesake of one of The Country Gentlemen's most requested songs.

Rounding out the Riders are Dobro ace Jaret Carter and singer/multi-instrumentalist Greg Luck (IIIrd Tyme Out, The New South).

Their debut is a spirited combination of great originals - "The Fall," "Lonesome Wind" and "Ten Years" - along with more familiar tunes like "Cold Wind" and "Colder and Colder." Corbett, truly one of the more under appreciated pickers in bluegrass, shines on the Earl Scruggs classic "Foggy Mountain Special." Luck shows why he is such a terrific lead singer on tunes like "Mama, What Does Heaven Look Like Here" and "Katie And Burl." The biggest treat, however, is a rollicking version of Neil Young's "Powderfinger."

Bluegrass bands come and go. Here's hoping though, that The Circuit Riders stay on the trail for some time to come.