Another Winner in a Long Line
Sammy Shelor is one amazing man, not only as a phenomenal banjo player but also as an energetic bandleader. Even though LRB has experienced numerous personnel changes over the years, Shelor continues to find talented musicians who are committed to traditional bluegrass.
The Road With No End is another strong project in a long string of enjoyable recordings from Shelor and his musical compatriots. The main staple of the music, as with many bluegrass releases, is stories of broken hearts and lost love. Among the highlights are "Brother To The Blues," "New Love" (which features outstanding harmonies), "Lonesome Won't Get The Best Of Me," "What I'd Give To Be The Wind," "You Can't Break My Heart" and "She's No Lady" (Paul Webster's clever description of a guitar).
Shelor and his banjo drive every tune. Shannon Slaughter (guitar and occasional lead vocal) also contributed two original songs, the energetic "Whoop and Ride" and "Prisoners Lament" a tale of infidelity and murder. Jeff Parker provides solid mandolin chops as well as the occasional lead vocal. Barry Berrier rounds out the band with a steadfast bass and occasional lead vocal. Guesting on this project are Ronnie Stewart (fiddle and guitar) and Matt Leadbetter (Dobro).
My only concern is the lack of specificity in the liner notes, which do not list each musician's contribution by track. When three men play the guitar and sing lead, it is not possible to know who is who. I especially enjoyed the guitar work in "What I'd Give To Be The Wind" and "New Love," but I don't know whom to credit.
On a five-point scale of excellence, this release is a four plus.
For more information, check out www.lonesomeriverband.com.