Review Archive

The Railsplitters - rocky tinge, soul-deep writing and warm bluesy edge

(December 02, 2013)

Were bluegrass to be classed as a communicable infection it would be right up there with something like bubonic plague. Devastatingly infectious and once you come in contact you’re lost. Add a rockyThe Railsplitterstinge, soul-deep writing combined with a warm bluesy edge to the fundamental essence and you’ve got an even more deadly concoction. Listen to the self-titled debut from The Railsplitters bluegrass band – who are Lauren Stovall, Dusty Rider, Peter Sharpe, and Leslie Ziegler – and you’ll find that male and female lead vocals, instrumental dexterity and great chunks of talent liberally dusted with committed enthusiasm serves up a highly infectious blend.

Yes, I’ll always confess to an affinity for Colorado’s musical melange from its traditions to its latest innovations - you can take the man away from the Rocky Mountains but you won’t ever take the Rocky Mountains out of the man. Their influences stay forever. That’s pretty much what you get with the range of influences you’ll hear coming through The Railsplitters music. It’s equally wide – roots, country, blues and rocking and rolling bluegrass - from self-penned through tradition this is virulent music.

From the nostalgia-fuelled opener ‘Jackson Town’ with its reflective lines, through the gentle memories of ‘Boarding Pass’ and the sparkling instrumentation and mournful lyrics in ‘Room at The Top of The Stairs’ to the magical fascination of ‘Longs Peak’ and the definitive tale ‘No Stranger to the Blues’ this is music of finely matched harmonies, intricate picking and sensational songwriting. The Railsplitters are another innovative band putting out their own idiosyncratic brand of bluegrass – long may that river run.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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