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Mountain Heart - Road Never Ends
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist
5/25/08

This refreshing, cutting edge bluegrass group really has put out a real masterpiece on this album. Recorded at "The Ark" in Ann Arbor, Michigan on March 26, 07,  Mountain Heart came out smoking and never looked back. The crowd propels them thru this fifteen song set. Just a terrific recording with a more than stellar performance.

The first really great song is by their newest member Josh Shilling. The song is a great Vince Gill-like ballad called "Who's The Fool Now?". This guy can sing and the band has a sweet hi lonesome sound. The fiddle player, Van Cleve, does a really nice crowd erupting fiddle solo. Shilling has the crowd clapping halfway thru the song, Josh is a great new addition to the group with his vocals, guitar and piano playing.

"God and Everybody" is an upbeat bluegrass kicker with great vocals, mandolin chops, banjo and some really good harmonies.

"Devil's Courthouse" is a full blown instrumental at full speed with everyone contributing. Adam Steffey is excellent on mandolin taking a great lead as is Van Cleve playing a great fiddle, the crowd is going nuts!! Wow!!

"Gospel Train" is a great traditional gospel tune. They do an odd background sound called the nose horn.

OK, now things change up and they do a bluesy song by Shilling called "It Works Both Ways." This is a great performance, once again by Shilling, playing some excellent blues guitar with the rest of the group joining in sounding like an acoustic blues song. Barry Abernathy is great at throwing in some comedy in between songs.

"Heart Like a Roadsign" - Shilling sings lead on this refreshing upbeat bluegrass tune. Very good chorus melody and harmony singing.

"Whipping Post" - Shilling takes on this Allman Brothers classic by himself with the help of a piano. It really comes out nice as he does a jazzy, bluesy version of this classic. Josh has a great voice and is overall a very talented musician.

"Mountain Man" - This is sang by Adam Steffey, a very classic type bluegrass tune. One of their first hits.

Mountain Heart is Adam Steffey (vocals and mandolin), Josh Shilling (vocals, guitar and piano), Jim Van Cleve (fiddle, vocals and group leader), Barry Abernathy (banjo, vocals, comedian), Clay Jones (guitar) and Jason Moore (Bass and vocals).

OK, Let me mention that I support Rural Rhytmn Records, the label that has spawned some great new Bluegrass Music including Mountain Heart and Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain. This is definitely worth checking out. A very hot bluegrass group with a great recording.


Click here to order your copy.

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