Bonfire Recording Co.
Built on the voice and guitar of Nathan Arnett, this band includes Ralph Adams (guitar), Kayla Amburgey (bass), Josh Cantrell (banjo), Evan Maynard (mandolin), and Albon Clevenger (fiddle). They all dive into the music and drive it with a determined kind of soul. But what else would you expect from a band from Salyersville, Ky.? There’s something special about those hills of eastern Kentucky. Just as coal is the product of a lot of pressure over a long period of time, the life in those hills squeezes the best music from the area’s musicians.
Arnett not only sings his tail off, but he writes great songs, such as the title-cut and “Don’t Tell Me I’ve Gone Crazy.” His songs stand well with Carter Stanley’s “The Lonesome River,” which they handle with ease. Another original, “Sadie,” has that timeless quality that marks great mountain music. Arnett wrote eight of the thirteen songs here. When they look for covers, they look to outlaw artists such as Waylon Jennings (“Waymore Blues”) and a lesser done Merle Haggard gem, “The Longer You Wait.”
Turning Ground is growing ever stronger with each release. The raw power of the smoldering “I’m Gonna Wear A Crown” with its swelling vocals and legato licks from the band shoot out like sparks from a fire about to burst out of control, but then doesn’t. It smolders like a coal bank fire, holding a power that could be unleashed at any time, but is insinuated and cuts loose to inundate the listener. True power is showing it, but not spending it. This band has that power. They are modern mountain soul. They are taking up the mantle of those fine mountain bluegrass bands that have gone on before them. If you like your bluegrass to be rich in that mountain sound, look no further. This band has it by the coal truck load. (Bonfire Recording, 2514 River Rd., Ste. 105, Piedmont, SC 29673, www.bonfirerecording.com.)RCB