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Open Road

Lucky Drive – 2005 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Open Road

Just because they're young, don't think that there is anything 'contemporary' about the brand of bluegrass music performed by Colorado band Open Road. Closer to King Wilkie and Chatham County Line than they are to Nickel Creek, the group's hardcore traditional approach has served them well on this, their third album for Rounder.

Like many bluegrass acts, Open Road mines old records and songbooks for material to revive, and they have found several gems this time around. "It's Blowing Away" is a lament to the disappearance of real country music, with a repetitive, mantra-like chorus serving as nearly the only words to the song. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the silly yet infectious, "Tater Patch," about marrying into city life and leaving the country behind.

Open Road never leaves their country music influences far behind with covers of Kitty Wells and Ernest Tubb songs included here, but ultimately they're a Monroe and Stanley inspired bluegrass band, carrying on the traditions to a new generation.