Legacy of Consistency and Quality

Footprints: A IIIrd Tyme Out Collection (Rounder)
IIIrd Tyme Out

By Bob Mitchell

Formed in 1991, IIIrd Tyme Out was composed chiefly of former members of Doyle Lawson's band, Quicksilver: Russell Moore, Ray Deaton, Terry Baucom, Alan Bibey and Mike Hartgrove. The name was chosen because each band member had worked with two other bands previously, so this was literally their "third time out."

Over the years personnel changed, but the sound remained consistently outstanding. Winner of an unprecedented seven consecutive Vocal Group of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association, IIIrd Tyme Out balances soul and precision to create bluegrass that is both traditional and contemporary. The band's trademark has always been tight instrumental work, tasteful song selections and exhilarating vocals.

Footprints: A IIIrd Tyme Out Collection, the second installment in Rounder's Cream of the Crop series of anthologies, features thirteen familiar tracks and two new recordings from the band's classic lineup of Russell Moore (guitar, lead vocal), Ray Deaton (bass, bass vocal), Wayne Benson (mandolin, vocal), Steve Dilling (banjo, vocal) and Mike Hartgrove (fiddle).

Make no mistake, IIIrd Tyme Out members are bluegrass icons with a strong commitment to integrity. They understand and keep their focus on the bottom line - making music. Power and honest emotion permeate each track in a release that showcases a depth of maturity and introspection that sets them apart from the rest of the field.

There is more to be sure, but a short list of musical highlights must include the title track, the love story of "John and Mary," a swinging "Milk Cow Blues," an a capella arrangement of "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," the touching "Letter to Home," and the affecting new song, "One Kiss Away From Loneliness."

On a five-point scale of excellence this release merits a five

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