New Old Bluegrass

Sincerely (Pinecastle)
Josh Crowe

By Bob Mitchell

Josh Crowe's debut release is a showcase for his singing and rhythm guitar. While his work is new to me, it is also impressive. He is just at ease with the unhurried time-honored "Born To Lose" as he is with the up-tempo well-established "Air Mail Special On The Fly." His vocals are always honest and heartfelt but no more so than on "Baby Blue Eyes," and "I Haven't Got The Right To Love You."

This is an enjoyable recording from a man who worked with Raymond Fairchild (King of the Smokey Mountain Banjo Players) and David McLaughlin (Johnson Mountain Boys). In a day when some musicians are stretching the boundaries of traditional bluegrass, it is a pleasure to hear music from a man does it right. Some of my favorite tracks are a sensitive cover of Don Reno's "Into These Hills;" Tom T. and Dixie Halls' poignant "Local Flowers;" and Jimmy Martin's "Give Me Your Hand."

Zane Fairchild's guitar work is first rate on "Local Flowers," and the national anthem of country-bluegrass, "Wildwood Flower." David Johnson's fiddle and Dobro are especially pleasing on "I Might Take You Back Again," and "Into These Hills." In addition to a dependable bass line, Shane Crowe contributes a fine lead vocal on "I'm A Man of Constant Sorrow." And, Kenny Haney's banjo is exemplary on the fast-moving and optimistic cut, "It Looks Like The Sun's Gonna Shine."

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