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Cadillac Sky

Gravity's Our Enemy – 2008 (Skaggs Family)

Reviewed by Tim FitzPatrick

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CDs by Cadillac Sky

Cadillac Sky has joined the increasingly crowded field of progressive acoustic bands. Their instrumentation and vocal phrasing expose their bluegrass roots, while their presentation and spirit draw from rock and pop. All of the band members have great chops. There are moments where Matt Menefee's banjo rolls seem impossibly fast. Andy Moritz's relentless, rumbling bass anchors the complex arrangements. Their voices are well matched, and their use of falsetto make songs such as Inside Joke stay in your head after the CD is done playing.

Most of the songs are composed by lead singer and mandolin player Bryan Simpson. While they serve as show pieces for the band, their lyrical quality is uneven. Goodbye Story and How Happy She Is work as pop tunes, but the melodramatic Bible by the Bed plays more like a basic cable movie of the week.

In the end, Cadillac Sky is defined by their high flying performances, cramming as many notes, and as much energy as they can into each song. Their latest is a very good effort that hard core newgrass fans should appreciate. However, if the coming years can bring them a bit more subtlety, their best recordings may still be ahead.