THE PURDY RIVER BAND
Sweet Carolina - Midnight Run - Southern Line - Lonely Moon - Banjo Signal
Chuck Lahr is the mover, shaker, and extremely good lead vocalist, behind this very very good soft bluegrass band. Most bluegrass bands today seem to struggle to see who's the fastest, who's the loudest, who's the most aggressive with the music. This is not the case with the Purdy River Band. This band plays bluegrass (and writes it with the pen of Chuck) in a much more satisfying style, attractive not only to a bluegrass aficionado like myself, but to anyone who has never heard bluegrass before. I call this very tight, very good group, pioneers in the upper Midwest, since that is where they presently make their home. This CD is actually a demo for me to see how they sound, so because it is so very well done, recording wise, I take a great deal of pride in reviewing it to the general audience. The mix is super well done. The overall production is also super well done. The lead instruments glide in and out of their leads exactly as the old bluegrassers did it. The harmony singing is also well balanced with an almost scintillating attraction toward how the voices blend with each other, a little different than loud outbursts of harmony we sometimes hear among bluegrass bands. Good original songs are a necessity to good bluegrass, and Chuck Lahr has done a most excellent job presenting his originals here, each and every one of them super good. Bluegrass is not bluegrass without a banjo, and Dave Anderson is that instrument player. I've also learned that he operates the recording studio where the band cut this outstanding demo. Jon Anderson, Dave's brother, plays mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and dobro, all equally well, and shines as an incredibly proficient instrumentalist. Beth Anderson (Dave's wife) is the upright bass player. Again I really like the very nice way the bass stays right behind the instruments, keeping them tight on the rhythm, beat, and bottom lines. The Andersons are mostly from Minnesota, but apparently close enough to Chuck Lahr's home in Iowa, to create a super good bluegrass band. This is only a demo, but it is going to the Rural Roots Music Commission for bluegrass placement on CD of the Year, 2015. My best advice to the Andersons and Chuck, keep your calendar open for next year. I know it's early to do that, but I'm pretty good at picking the minds of those who sit on the commission. Good luck Purdy River wherever you go.
REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - WWW.NTCMA.NET for Country Music News International Magazine