Volume Five – Down In A Cell
Although Down In A Cell is the first album by a band that debuted three years ago, each member of Volume Five has held tenure with national touring bands prior to their collective start. Mississippian Glen Harrell, who had fiddled with Marty Raybon and Full Circle for five years, began pulling the group together late in 2007. Adam Duke (guitar) from Cullman, Ala., performed all over with David Davis & the Warrior River Boys, while Georgia bass player Chris Williamson spent two years with Randy Kohrs. Alabama school teacher and mandolinist Jesse Daniel played briefly with Kohrs and Anita Fisher. Patton Wages, who spent four years with Raybon and Full Circle replaced Casey Colwell (and Shane Blackwell) on banjo shortly after the recording of Down In A Cell.
Down In A Cell includes 11 tracks with four originals written by members of Volume Five (“Down In A Cell” by Adam Duke, “Busy City”, “These Lies”, and “Ride Ruby Ride” by Jesse Daniel) along with songs penned by popular writers such as Whitey Shafer (“Baptism Of Jesse Taylor”) and Dottie Rambo (“Sailing On”). The CD also features a great bluegrass re-make of “Home”, originally a hit for country music star Joe Diffie. Possibly the most interesting aspect of Down In A Cell is the lead vocals shared between Glen Harrell and Adam Duke, both soulful singers, but each with a distinctive style all their own.
Volume Five has all the tools and competencies of a modern professional bluegrass band in 2011. They have two good lead singers, some original songs and good taste in covers, and fine picking. What remains to be seen is whether Volume Five can be heard and stand out on their own in a bluegrass world evermore crowded with talented, contemporary bands. The answer will lie in whether the bandmembers can employ the skills they amply exhibit on Down In A Cell in creating a distinctive sound immediately recognizable as Volume Five. (Mountain Fever Records, 1177 Alum Ridge Rd; Willis, VA 24380, www.mountainfever.com.) AM