TONY ROOK, THE ROAD BACK HOME
This pleasant project by the banjo picker, songwriter, and guitarist Tony Rook is a fine example of mainstream bluegrass. The vocals are all handled by Rook, and he does a masterful job on leads and singing all of the harmonies. The songwriting ranges from good to very interesting. There are eight originals and the old classic from Tim Hardin, “Reason To Believe.” He turns in a version of Poco’s “Keep On Tryin’,” which is a bit grittier than their version. Two Louisa Branscomb tunes are, “Darlin’ Now’s Not The Time” and “Wearin’ The Blues.” The best song on this project just might be the original title piece.
The picking on the project is fine throughout, with the likes of Matt Flinner on mandolin and Becky Buller on fiddle. Terry Johnson shows up on bass and banjo, and Tim Carter adds mandolin on the cuts where Flinner is not playing mandolin. Graham Sones adds some nice banjo on several cuts. Thoughtful arrangements serve the songs and allow the players to add nice touches. This is fine bluegrass music rooted in tradition, but with a contemporary feel. It shows off Rook’s considerable skills as a singer, picker, and songwriter. (www.tonyrookmusic.com)RCB