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Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain

CHHR2 – 2008 (Rural Rhythm)

Reviewed by John Walker

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CDs by Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain

Coming off the success of their 2006 self-titled debut CD, which saw them chart on Billboard's Bluegrass Charts for most of the year, Carrie Hassler & Hard Rain decided why change up a good thing. Jim Van Cleve returns to produce this solid sophomore CD. The instrumental talents of Hard Rain band members Josh Miller on banjo, brothers Kevin and Keith McKinnon on mandolin and guitar, Jamie Harper on fiddle and Travis Anderson on bass enhance the strong vocal talents of Hassler, maintaining an alluring balance throughout. The comparisons to Alison Krauss and Union Station are justified with their appealing sound.

Among the many highlights is the Jennifer Strickland penned "I Can Go Back Anytime" plus Miller's "Fickle Heart" and the poignant "If These Walls Could Talk." CHHR also attempts, and successfully pulls off, a bluegrass variation on the Bob Seger classic "Turn The Page." No sophomore let down here.