Golden Gate City turns to bluegrass - and it rocks!

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MUSIC REVIEW: Front Country, South Holland Centre, Spalding

All thoughts of country and western greats like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Garth Brooks were expelled from the South Holland Centre auditorium by five-piece bluegrass outfit Front Country.

In a ground-breaking, genre-shaking performance consisting of two 50-minute sets, this exciting, San Francisco-based group screwed up every tradition of the sound America gave to the world and remoulded it again.

Front Country honoured Spalding by making it the final stop on their three-week UK tour which frontman Jacob Groopman described as a “blast”.

Songs from the band’s current album Sake of the Sound were brand new numbers, including one about their “second-favourite” US state, Colorado.

The deeply fortunate audience will be spending hours on the internet looking for other songs performed on Sunday night, including Kissin’ Comes Easy, Sweet Smell of the Pine, The Humpback and the Sloth, Gold Rush Apparition and You Can’t Blame the Eighties.

Front Country is the embodiment of the fearlessness of bluegrass.

Review by Winston Brown