One of the most vital aspects of Bluegrass music is feeling, sometimes referred to as soul.
This fine band, Bluestone, captures this elusive and all too rare quality.
Based in southern Pennsylvania, about 50 miles north of Baltimore, MD, Bluestone brings together a group of veteran musicians from a part of the country rich in Bluegrass music heritage. Lead singer Carroll Swam's emotive vocal style is a major factor in conveying a soulful quality to their music. His original piece " Jarrettsville" follows the example of great songwriting: a heartfelt ballad with a sincere regional influence. Banjo master Tom Neals' music deserves special recognition. He brings an entire catalog of traditional and contemporary styles to the bands sound. Mandolinist Dick Laird contributes a wide variety of vocal parts. Whether it's lead, tenor, baritone or bass vocals, he delivers them all with a talented touch. Two outstanding musicians from the Baltimore area Jon Glik (Fiddle) and Russ Hooper (Dobro) offer distinctive instrumental touches to Bluestone's lively sound. In finest Bluegrass father/ son tradition, Dick Lairds' sons Heath and Jeff round out the group on bass and guitar respectively and respectfully.
A major part of any group’s sound is their choice of material. In addition to some original compositions
they have selected songs from a wide range of writers including Red Allen, Gordon Lightfoot and John Lennon.
So here's an enjoyable example of Bluegrass soul, accurately captured and ably delivered. Bluestone's music plays well on the ears and lands firmly in the heart.
Built on the solid and historical foundations of Bluegrass music itself, the York, PA based band called "Bluestone" has evolved into what is very close to the perfect Bluegrass band. The founding members
continue to find the strength of their music rooted in traditional Bluegrass while incorporating the
Influences of gospel, blues and country/ swing music.
From their appearance on "Song of the Mountain" to their live stage performance and right up through
this CD, the thing that stands out the most is the perfection of the performance. Their love of Bluegrass
music and the camaraderie of the members of the band is absolutely undeniable. And in this CD
they've chosen to share that love and friendship with you.
Some of these musicians have been playing bluegrass music for over half a century. (a few of them
might actually qualify as founding fathers themselves). But none of that seems to hold any of them back
from embracing original tunes and songs that still speak to the heart and soul of the true Bluegrass
This is a CD you've been waiting for. Money well spent.