Breaking Grass - Cold
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Cold (Mountain Fever, 2019)

Breaking Grass

Reviewed by Devin Adams

This is not your father's bluegrass. Nor is it supposed to be. This is a lesson on musical influence- a love letter to everything that inspired Breaking Grass as kids and teens. Sure, it is set to a backdrop of fiddle, banjo and mandolin, but it does not require a finely trained ear to pick out all of the non-bluegrass influences BG pulled from. That isn't to say that your father's bluegrass heroes were not influential as well. They were. That is obvious.

'90s alternative rock plays a big part in the personality of many who grew up with it, and it is undeniable in its influence here, just as in the syncopated rhythm present in parts of "Heart of My Love," the opening track, or the title track, "Cold." Mix that syncopation with a subtle banjo roll and, bang! Not your father's bluegrass. Country music, the real stuff, is the second most distinguishable influence though not subtle in tribute. Restless Hearts' "Bluest Eyes In Texas," the lone track not written by guitarist Cody Farrar, is so well done it dares a repeat play.

Two true bluegrass' staples, songs of love and murder, influence the closing track, "The Truth," and throw out a hook that demands attention; "today some divers found that old 68." It tells the story of two high school rivals, in love with the same girl, whose father turns out to be abusive. The rivals team up in a the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend- partnership to put the abuse to an end while both claiming they love her more than the other. The story is haunting and unfolds like a good novel.

"Cold" is a collection of experience and influence, and is most definitely not your father's bluegrass.

CDs by Breaking Grass

Cold, 2019 Warning Signs, 2017 Just As Strong, 2014

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