Pier Pressure – 1997 (Sugar Hill)

Reviewed by Kim Webber

CDs by Chesapeake

There is no doubt Chesapeake is a pedigreed bluegrass supergroup. Members have played with such notables as Seldom Scene, J.D. Crowe and Doc Watson. This album, however borrows its sound from the Seventies pop of Poco, Pure Prairie League and The Eagles, right down to the harmony vocals from Linda Ronstadt ("Bed Of Roses").

This record's not without its highlights. They're just buried pretty deep and come pretty late. The Hugh Moffatt-penned "Carolina Star" is a nice touch, and the closer, "Working on a Building," (dedicated to Bill Monroe and John Duffy) comes closest to reaching the band's potential.

Others, such as "Rockin' Hillbilly," are just failures. Especially disappointing is "Sleepwalk(ing) At The Drive-In." On paper, it sounds as if it could be an interesting tone poem (combine a Chesapeake original with the Santo and Johnny surf classic). Sadly, it turns out to be a ready made Weather Channel bumper.