Raw sound of bluegrass as you would never believe

Sake of the Sound, the debut album by California bluegrass band Front Country.
Sake of the Sound, the debut album by California bluegrass band Front Country.

ALBUM REVIEW: Front Country “Sake of the Sound” on Front Country Band Records - Out Now

A fortunate audience got a foretaste of California six-piece group Front Country’s experimental brand of bluegrass music during a concert at South Holland Centre, Spalding, last month.

Sake of the Sound, Front Country’s first full-length album, contains many of the songs that were played at the concert, including Rock, Salt and Nuts, Daysleeper, Undertaker and Colorado, the band’s tribute to what sassy lead singer and the band’s Miss Firecracker, Melody Walker, called “our second-favourite state after California”.

The album opens with a raw, stripped away duet of Larry Sparks’ Gospel Train which sets the listener up for a high velocity ride through fiddle, mandolin and banjo playing of the highest order.

But what sets Front Country apart from other bluegrass groups, notwithstanding more traditional-sounding tracks like One Kind Word, Glacier Song and Long Ago, Far Away, is the extent to which they go to explore the boundaries of a musical genre made famous by Johnny Cash and Kenny Rogers.

This is an album from a band which music broadcaster “Whispering” Bob Harris described as “currently the biggest band on the bluegrass scene in America”.

Listen for yourselves.

Review by Winston Brown

Golden Gate City turns to bluegrass - and it rocks!