Welcome to Mellow's Log Cabin, a blog about Country Music, Rockabilly & Hillbilly. The purpose of this site is to explore the aforementioned musical styles and to share the knowledge about obscure artists, labels, shows etc. If you have any additions or corrections, feel free to comment.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Classic review

An awesome album which is almost on the same level as the Rubber Knife Gang's "Drivin' On" and the Black Twig Pickers' "Ironto Special." In fact, I thought Larry Keel & Natural Bridge's new CD "Classic" is going into the same direction as the Pickers when I spotted such titles as "Fishin' Reel" and "Country Blues" in the track list but actually this is more in the vein of Cincinnati's Rubber Knife Gang or Steve Martin.

Larry Keel & Natural Bridge consist of Keel on guitar, Jenny Keel on bass, Mark Schimick on mandolin, and Will Lee on banjo. The absence of a fiddle does not stand out much. Instead, here and there the steely sound of a dobro is added to the line-up and fits really good into the band's style. A fiddle would have made a much more traditional oriented sound, which is not the case here. "Classic" sound fresh, new, and modern.

Vocal tracks as well as instrumentals are great. Listening to "Back Up on the Mountain" makes me wish to have a warm summer evening and being at a calm lake, just sitting and thinking. "Country Blues" goes more into the traditional direction and is a great rendition of Dock Boggs' old favorite. The rough vocals by Keel are great here. Another outstanding track is the instrumental "Fishin' Reel," presenting not only Keel's guitar playing but also his talented band. The band is joining all in to support the singer on "How Can It Be Wrong," a beautiful mid-tempo song. Another track worth mentioning here is Bob Marley's "Put It On," what an effort to turn a Reggae song into an equally good Bluegrass track.

To describe it best, this is high-class Bluegrass music with dreamy melodies. Fast guitar and mandolin solos showcase the great musicianship this band has. Mixing Appalachian music traditions with modern elements, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge recorded one of the best Bluegrass/Folk albums this year so far. A band to watch and a CD I can highly recommend.

Visit larrykeel.com here.

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