Songs From The Road Band: “Waiting on a Ride” album review
Songs From The Road Band: Waiting On A Ride review
Songs From The Road Band has been around for quite a while, quietly spending over a decade amassing an impressive catalog of music.
Charles Humphrey III – who’s bio boasts an IBMA and a Grammy – was in Steep Canyon Rangers when he formed the side project of Songs From The Road Band with award-winning guitarist Sam Wharton.
The first three studio efforts from Songs From The Road Band were projects with a sometimes rotating casts of characters that could easily round off any bluegrass lineup. Fellow Ashevillians Jon Stickley and Andy Thorn are a few names on the list, along with Jonathan Byrd, Shawn Camp and Phil Barker.
With their last album, Road To Nowhere, SFTRB became a true touring and recording outfit, anchored by founding members Humphrey and Wharton, along with renowned banjo player Ryan Cananaugh, former Larry Keel mandolinist Mark Schimick, and 2-time National fiddle champion James Schlender.
Now, with their fifth studio release, Waiting on a Ride, Songs From The Road Band is forging the path ahead as a bluegrass force of their own, shedding the vestiges of their previous associations and making a name for themselves. A name that deserves to be alongside those with whom this group has honed their craft through the years.
While individual members’ styles and backgrounds projects have run the gamut of newgrass, jamgrass and jazz, Waiting On A Ride is ultimately a bluegrass album. Traditional themes permeate the project, and the sound is crisp and authentic.
As with Road To Nowhere, Waiting On A Ride is filled with what you would expect from Songs From The Road Band – songs from the road. Coming from a group that has most likely clocked more collective highway miles than Smokey and the Bandit, tunes like Any Highway, Long Slow Road, Nowhere to Land and the title track are all best played above 65 MPH with the windows rolled all the way down. Better yet, in a T-top.
The entire album is a refreshing alternative among the current landscape of new music, and reminds us why we all fell for string bands in the first place – bluegrass.
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