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Grasstowne

The Other Side Of Towne – 2009 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by John Walker

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CDs by Grasstowne

Two years ago, the trio of mandolin player Alan Bibey, Dobro/slide guitarist Phil Leadbetter and vocalist Steve Gulley joined forces to form Grasstowne. Joining this dynamic trio were Jason Davis on banjo and Travis Greer on bass.

Following up their initial success, Grasstowne now releases another tradition laden record. With a mixture of up-tempo high steppin' songs, stories of sorrow and woe, along with inspiring gospel, Grasstowne does an exceptional job.

Davis opens the record with a catchy rolling banjo piece in the soulful (Hard Workin' Man) followed by a heart gripping gospel number written by Gulley and Ken Mellons titled (Lifting Up The Cross) featuring the exceptional mandolin of Bibey and vocals of Gulley.

The group truly steps out and flexes their muscles with the instrumental (Tobaccoville Road) written by and featuring Bibey on mandolin. Just to show their vocal prowess as well, they include an outstanding a cappella gospel tune, Salvation of the Lord with Terry Baucon guesting on bass vocal.

The 14 songs capture the essence of traditional bluegrass music in every manner.