Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Blue Moon Rising offer new CDs
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
– International Bluegrass Music Association's 2007 Instrumental Group of the Year, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper released their debut "Leavin' Town," on Rounder today. Led by five-time IBMA Fiddle Player of the Year Cleveland, the band unites bluegrass veterans and younger musicians. the disc includes songs ranging from the 1950s' Lonesome Pine Fiddlers to recently-penned original material. The band also includes John Mark Batchelor on banjo, mandolinist Jesse Brock (Lynn Morris Band), guitarist and vocalist Todd Rakestraw (Union Station, Timberline Drive and bassist and vocalist Marshall Wilborn (Lynn Morris Band, Johnson Mountain Boys, Longview).
Another bluegrass also, Blue Moon Rising's "One Lonely Shadow" (Lonesome River), also came out today. The band combines country and bluegrass songs. The band penned six songs for the disc and also cover Bruce Springsteen's "Youngstown," Townes VanZandt's "Marie" and Fred Eaglesmith's "Freight Train." The group consists of Keith Garrett, Chris West, Justin Jenkins, Harold Nixon. Their debut release came in 2005 with "On The Rise."
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CD reviews for Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper
Unlike previous Flamekeeper releases, there are few bluegrass household names associated with "On Down the Line." Only co-producer Jeff White has been with Michael Cleveland since the 2002 Rounder Records debut that gave Cleveland's band its name. "On Down the Line's" personnel reflects an evolving band that has solidified over three years. Glenn Gibson (banjo and reso) has been with Cleveland for three years, while both Tyler Griffith (bass) and Nathan Livers ...
Some CDs labeled "bluegrass" are like powdered eggs and turkey bacon: they just don't hit the mark. If it's a Michael Cleveland CD then you know it will be the real deal. "Flamekeeper" is centered on Cleveland and his fabulous talent on the fiddle (and other instruments, too). Other Flamekeeper members are Tom Adams (Blue Highway, Johnson Mountain Boys) on guitar and lead vocals, Marshall Willborn (Lynn Morris Band) on bass, Jessie Brock on mandolin and Jessie Baker ...
Fans of hard-driving bluegrass with some modern country influences will really like Michael Cleveland and Famekeeper. It's a no-bones-about-it, in-your-face bluegrass effort with tight rhythms and fast picking.
The CD kicks off with the fast driving "Sold Down the River," which is joined by "Troubles 'Round My Door" and the title track. These tunes showcase a fast paced traditional bluegrass sound with tight instrumentals and clear lyrics.
"My Blue Eyed ...