Newfound Road – Live At The Down Home
In the past several years, NewFound Road has garnered a fair amount of attention and with good reason. The cause for all the excitement is on full display on Live At The Down Home.
This recording captures a tight, strong band at the height of their game—cracking good rhythm, topnotch picking, and stellar vocals.
The powerhouse right hand of banjo player Josh Miller kicks off “Try To Be” to start the proceedings and sets the mark for a well-paced, dynamic show. Tim Shelton’s expressive lead vocals shine, especially on the ballads “These Days” and “If You’ll Pretend.” Instrumentally, Shelton, Miller, Joe Booher on mandolin, and Jamey Booher on bass have real command of their instruments and the material, and that’s an impressive thing to capture live. With special guest Jim VanCleve standing out on fiddle, the result is immensely satisfying.
Live At The Down Home is as good a live album as any in recent memory. The recording, the performance, and the material are superb. NewFound Road has a smooth, country-inflected, modern bluegrass sound with great drive and dynamics—not hard-edged, but exciting nonetheless. This is a recording worth listening to again and again. (Rounder Records, One Rounder Way, Burlington, MA 01803, www.rounder.com.) AWIII