ERIC LEWIS & NEW KENTUCKY COLONELS
A House Is Not A Home
Riding On That Midnight Train - Carolina In The Pines - Love Of The Mountains - Old Home Place - Your Treasures - A House Is Not A Home - I Wonder Where You Are Tonight - Wild Flowers For Mary - Lonesome Pine - Earl's Breakdown
I love good bluegrass music, especially when it leans toward the traditional side of the music. I believe this attraction for me is that this is where 'real' country music is residing. Eric Lewis doesn't have a high tenor bluegrass voice. He has a very sensitive, tender, meaningful, voice representative of traditional music. Make that traditional country music as well as traditional bluegrass music. This excellent band even included a terrific old-time country song, "Wild Flowers For Mary" which is an amazing love song, so plaintive and so perfectly done by Eric and his boys. Eric is listed on his CD as a 'Colonel' which probably means he is a professional auctioneer in Missouri. He uses this incredible timing and vocal transition very effectively in his vocal interpretations of some incredibly good traditional bluegrass music. The new Kentucky Colonels are made up of Dennis Reese on the bass, exactly the way this music should be played. He does not use his instrument as a 'lead' instrument, but rather puts a solid 'beat' to the music with emphasis on staying on the beat. Brian Steele is a lifetime musician and singer playing multiple instruments, sometimes sings led and sometimes harmony. Jared Parnter, the youngest member of the group plays both mandolin and Dobro in the group. The Dobro is the instrument that brings this group so close to traditional country/bluegrass music. Brian Steele, I believe is the banjo player, who used to play with Mickey Gilley, and he certainly brings the full 'banjo' experience into this excellent listening experience. There is an incredibly good fiddler on this recording that is not listed in the credits, and I must say whoever it is, he/she fits the puzzle to perfection, bringing the music full circle to what it once was, and what it still is today against amazing competitive disadvantage. The band doesn't stint on selection of music, all of it is exceptionally well done, a traditional perfection that is hard to find in the fast moving compromising younger groups that seem to get most of the media attention, so that makes the New Kentucky Colonels very special. Eric sent me two CD's so I will be reviewing the next one in the future, but needless to say, this one will be going off to the Rural Roots Music Commission who I'm sure will stand by their name 'rural roots' which stands high and proud in this great bluegrass music offering from Missouri.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine