The Future Has Arrived

Ear*Resistable (Independent)

Sassafras

By Bob Mitchell

This project is a lot of fun from start to finish. Four talented Kentucky teenagers have released a recording that reflects their love and respect for traditional bluegrass and old time country music. Ear*Resistible is an enthusiastic CD featuring Chloe Blayne (age 15), Tyler Mullins (13), Jory Hutchens (14) and Turner Hutchens (11).

Blayne's vocals are smooth and heartfelt, especially on "Faded Love," and "Your Love Is Like a Flower." Turner Hutchens' mandolin chops are solid particularly on a bouncy "Soldier's Joy." The bow work of Jory Hutchens is consistently commendable, but no more so than on "Daybreak In Dixie," "Old Joe Clark" and "I Don't Love Nobody." Mullins and Blayne each provide solid banjo fills but, unfortunately, there are no liner notes that specify who plays on which tracks. However, I did enjoy the five-string on "Sally Goodin'" "Daybreak in Dixie" and "Old Joe Clark." The multi-talented Blayne and Mullins also provide steady, strong guitar work. Someone's pickin' is especially noteworthy on "Blackberry Blossom" and "I Don't Love Nobody."

If any of our readers are concerned about the future of bluegrass, there is no need to worry as long as we have groups like Sassafras. The next generation is here in a delightful and unpolished gem. The band was a crowd favorite at the Bluegrass 101 Festival in Bullitt County in August. They have the potential and the drive. I look forward to their second release.

For more on Sassafras, check out www.kysassafras.com.