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CD: DIRTY RIVER RAMBLERS - Ramble On


DIRTY RIVER RAMBLERS
Ramble On
 
Red Bird Stomp - Copper Coil Daydream - Take It Easy With My Heart - Wally The Hound Dog - Hippy Girl - Carp Skin Boots - Eliza Mae - Lost Weekend - Armadillo Shuffle - Equal Parts Pleasure
 
This is without a doubt one of our better acoustic old-time music maker bands in the upper Midwest.  I've heard these same musicians in other groups, not the least being the very good Southpaw Bluegrass Band.  Music, however, does not stay static very long especially in the hands of players who are not only unique, but original in their compositions.  All of these songs are written by the band members with Josh Krohn making the most contributions.  All of the songs, at least to my ear, are quite good, some mountain style sounding, some directly from the dance floor of western Nebraska, some from the very heart of early country music roots. Members include Josh Krohn on vocals, fiddle (exceptionally good on all songs), banjo  (even uses a frailing style occasionally, especially well done on the instrumental "Wally The Hound Dog") and acoustic guitar; Justin Kephart (from the very very famous Kephart Family of music makers originally from Iowa) on vocals and super good mandolin; Mace Hathaway on vocals, guitar, harmonica, and baritone Ukelele; Chris Hunke on acoustic bass.  I'm really picky when it comes to the 'mix' of acoustic music.  I didn't get to record six albums for the Smithsonian Institution without that 'ear' and I'd have to say this mix is as good as it gets.  I like the way the bass holds it's own throughout, but doesn't become isolated.  I like the way the mandolin comes in on heavy leads and then backs off into the accompaniment mode, and I like the way the vocals are blended with the instruments.  Two, very well written, 'romantic' songs are composed by M. Hathaway.  "Hippy Girl" and "Eliza Mae" are pure traditional country, plain and simple.  "Carp Skin Boots" is another voyage into instrumental expertise, tempo change and all.  Excellent acoustic guitar leads here.  The closing song "Equal Parts Pleasure" is a 'lost love romantic' song by Josh Krohn that includes his harmonica playing.  Recorded at Alaska House Studios, good job well done.  Josh Krohn, Dirty River Ramblers, 2719 N 65th St., Omaha, NE 68104  
 
Review by Bob Everhart www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International 

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