Black Music Matters Festival

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver

Help is on the Way – 2008 (Horizon)

Reviewed by Tim FitzPatrick

See it on Amazon

Take a look a list of alumni of Doyle Lawson's Quicksilver, and you'll you find founding members of such bands as Mountain Heart, IIIrd Thyme Out and the Dailey/Vincent band. While this is apt to make a bandleader proud, it underscores the ongoing challenge of finding and developing new personnel. With significant turnover since his 2007 release, Lawson takes to the studio with some new voices and again finds his trademark sound based on polished harmony singing.

The vocal trios and quartets in this all-gospel album are predictably impeccable with rich tenor and high baritone parts that evoke prior iterations of the band. The solo vocals are competently delivered, but do not always match the quality of the harmony singing. The instrumentation, while never the focal point, provides steady support. The songs take mostly positive approach to the usual bluegrass gospel subject areas. The strongest tracks are at the beginning with the infectious "I Know, I Know" leading into the "hang in there" message of the title cut.

This is a solid effort and may be viewed as an auspicious beginning for this generation of Quicksilver.