This dynamic Durango, Colorado-based duo is the current IBMA “Momentum Band of the Year” and has twice made the finals in the highly competitive Telluride Bluegrass Contest. The group’s hallmarks include super-tight harmonies, imaginative songwriting and some very inspired fiddle playing from member Alissa Wolf.
The Junkies’ principal thematic bailiwick on their third album is the history, heritage and legends of the old and untamed West. The meditative “River Of The Lost Soul,” is a haunting ode to the early explorers and adventurers who vanished into the wilderness of what is now western Colorado, never to be heard from again. “Moonrise Over Ridgeway” explores similarly eerie themes.
“Over The Pass” revisits the hard life of the cattle drivers of yesteryear, while “Half A Pound Of Silver” portrays the hard and insecure lives of 19th-century silver miners. “Haskell Town” delves into a more recent facet of dark western history. It recounts the plight of a soldier caught up in the 1918 influenza epidemic at Fort Riley, Kansas, where the world-wide plague was said to originate.
The Stillhouse Junkies hit the mark just as incisively and subtly on originals, such as “On The House,” “Five Doors Down In Leadville” and “Evergreen,” that capture intriguing slices of small-town drama. On the celebratory, old-timey bluegrass-flavored “El Camino” distinguished guest Becky Fuller serves up an awesome fiddle solo.
Only one of these 11 tracks is a cover: a captivating jazz-grassy reprise of a 1970s Fleetwood Mac number called “Never Going Back Again.”