Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Front Porch String Band|
Front Porch String Band
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Listen to Samples
The album that turned me on to bluegrass (in 1981)
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 07/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My introduction to bluegrass was via Emmylou's brilliant Roses in the snow, but for a while I regarded it as a novelty. Eventually, I decided to explore further and this was the one that really made me take bluegrass seriously. During the eighties, I played it countless times and it was one of my most-played vinyl albums. I was pleased to be able to upgrade it to CD, on which medium it sounds better than ever (especially as my LP was so worn). Although I don't play it as often these days, it is still one of my favorite bluegrass albums.Lead singer Claire Lynch has a lovely voice, very similar to Emmylou (probably why I bought it back in 1981), but as Emmylou's music is so different from Claire's (Roses in the snow aside), it's not a problem. Perhaps because this is a band album rather than a Claire solo album, there are a lot of chances for the musicians to shine, although ultimately it is Claire's voice that is the finest instrument of all. Yet, those instrumental breaks are great - at a time when I was a mere bluegrass novice, they taught me what gives bluegrass it's identity.The songs are a mixture of originals and covers. The covers include If you're ever in Oklahoma (J J Cale), Go my way (Gordon Lightfoot) and Wabash Cannonball (Roy Acuff). The originals include Hills of Alabam, later covered by Kathy Mattea on her Willow in the wind album, with Claire singing backup. The overall feel of the album is upbeat but restrained, so it's quite a mellow album really. Perhaps they could have really cut loose, but it wouldn't have improved it any.Claire has recorded several excellent albums since this one (with and without the band, although her solo albums usually feature band members). While the quality of Claire's albums now makes it difficult to say which is best, this is still a strong contender for that title. Not that I care - in my mind, Claire is the Queen of Bluegrass although the competition is much hotter these days.If you like the bluegrass music of Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent or Dolly Parton, give Claire a try. They often sing on each other's records these days (look at the credits for Dolly's Grass is Blue) so they are not really competitors. Between them, they are setting the standard for those that follow."
Front Porch Magic
Mark J. Fowler | Okinawa, Japan | 03/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Claire Lynch and her bandmates made a little magic on these tracks, recorded before the days of Female Bluegrass Superstar vocalists. Although, as other reviewers mention, Claire is the "star" of this show, the FPSB mates compliment her perfectly and this is very much a team or band album. There's not a bad cut on the CD, but the highlights are transcendant moments of recorded bluegrass history. Claire sings "Go My Way" with a poignant style that makes Lightfoot's version (and a later recorded version by Tony Rice) seem pale by comparison. Larry Lynch's mandolin has been accurately described as "Sam Bush-like", no small compliment, esp at a time when Chris Thile was a mere gleam in his father's eye. The arrangement of the icon Wabash Cannonball makes anything the great Roy Acuff did with the tune seem like child's play. The song shifts around in different keys - modulating through extended instrumental sequences in a minor key owing more to David Grisman's Dawg music than to any "Grand Ol' Opry" rendition - but these brilliant instrumental excursions form a mere framework on which to hang the centerpiece: Claire Lynch's luxurious vocals. On the final chorus the rest of the FPSB voices come in to complement Mrs. Lynch's angelic lead .... with an effect that still raises the hairs on the back of my neck after hundreds of listens.I was riding to a Bluegrass Festival a few months ago with a gentleman who is well-versed in "who's who" in Bluegrass. As we rode along the sounds of new and time-honored "classics" came across my CD player: the Osborne Brothers, Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss, Flatt and Scruggs. Then I put on this under-appreciated gem. "Who's THAT!!!!????" I was asked.I then acquainted the gentleman with one of the best sounds going - the Claire Lynch led Front Porch String Band. I hope you may be similarly acquainted.Well.... what are you waiting for?"
GREAT MELLOW BLUEGRASS
Wayne Lobb | 08/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS IS ONE OF MY ALLTIME FAVORITE RECORDINGS, THOUGH IT REMAINS RELATIVELY UNKOWN. IF BLUEGRASS IS YOUR SPEED, HOP ON BOARD FOR A GREAT RIDE."