Continental Divide

There'll Always Be A Rocking Chair – 2000 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

CDs by Continental Divide

Like so many current bluegrass bands formed by veterans of the genre, Continental Divide take a pure approach to traditional bluegrass music that results in timeless records like this one. The band, including Elmer Burchett, Jr. on banjo, Steve Day on fiddle, David Parmley on guitar, Mike Anglin on bass and Danny Barnes on mandolin, can swing like Bob Wills one moment, then lower the boom with an ominous sense of musical foreboding.

"Murder In The First Degree" by Barnes does both. It sounds a hundred years old, and swings like a classic country song. The real classics they tackle here are highlighted by two Randall Hylton numbers, "Mountain Laurel" and "I've Heard The Wind Blow." The title track by Billy Smith may be an appropriate theme song for these modern traditionalists, with the message of always having a place to come home to. True bluegrass music offers a place one can always come back to, knowing it is the same as that big wooden rocking chair at grandma's house, rocking away the years.