Stories and Memories
From time to time a reviewer runs across an album that is a good listen, but in the big tent that is today’s bluegrass world, is hard to identify for the listener. Fortunately, Mohavisoul offered extensive notes for their latest album, Stories and Memories. They refer to their sound as “California Bluegrass.” Cool.
Wait, what’s that, exactly? Then the answer comes—“original contemporary bluegrass from the soul, rooted in folk and Americana.” As the character on the John Boy & Billy Radio Show used to say, that’s a lot better than what I had. Another line mentions that Mohavisoul is sometimes called the southwest version of Seldom Scene. There’s a place where it’s no point trying to put a label on a project and that fits on Stories and Memories which is simply good, original music.
The group’s fifth album is also one that makes it harder to single out the best cuts and it works as a whole rather than a sum of parts, if that makes any sense. The ordering of songs really makes it flow. With that said, it would be wrong not to mention “Fourteen Days,” “Righteous Path,” “Won’t Bring You Down” and “Nomad Blues” as among the very best. The band makes sure to showcase they understand the traditional sound with “More White House Blues” and a song entitled “Squirrels in My Car” cannot be left out of print.
Mohavisoul is composed of Randy Hanson (mandolin/vocals); Mark Miller (guitar/vocals); Jason Weiss (banjo/vocals); Daniel Sankey (fiddle/vocals); Ben Bostwick (bass); and Orion Boucher (bass/vocals).
The group is the first southern California band to be invited to showcase at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass since Nickel Creek. Mohavisoul might not be well known on the east coast, but Stories and Memories may help change that.