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Open Road

Cold Wind – 2002 (Rounder)

Reviewed by John Lupton

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CDs by Open Road

It's long been known that great bluegrass music doesn't just come out of the South. Decades ago, California-based acts like Vern and Ray were putting out music that matched just about anything their colleagues east of the Mississippi were doing, when it came to being high and lonesome. In the last 20 years, in particular, Colorado has been the home ground for a number of influential bands like Hot Rize, Front Range, the Bluegrass Patriots and now, Open Road.

Like a lot of bands nowadays, these guys seek to recreate onstage the snappy haberdashery and single-mike choreography of classic, '50s-vintage performance bluegrass, but the good news is that, where some bands capture only the look, Open Road has the sound to back it up.

In some ways, they're reminiscent of another band, considered "retro" at the time, that Rounder also introduced some 20 years ago, the Johnson Mountain Boys, and as if to emphasize the connection, former JMB fiddler and current WSM deejay Eddie Stubbs sits in on one cut. If you've seen Open Road, you'll want to hear this album, and once you've heard this, you'll want to see them.