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Gold Heart - My Sisters and Me
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

This young group of sisters playing guitar, fiddle and mandolin along with their sweet three part Appalachian harmonies has put out their third full CD titled My Sisters and Me. This CD has a very full and professional sound and is an excellent job of recording and mastering. The sound quality is as good as any group that has been around like Union Station or Melonie Cannon. It has a real live feel to it, not a heavily layered type recording, which is hard to find in bluegrass anyway. This album just shimmers with the sound of great acoustic music.

Jocelyn Gold is a teenager who you would never think is playing all of the guitar on this CD. It really sounds like Tyminski or a real seasoned player like Bryan Sutton. She plays some lead guitar parts that plain out sparkle. She is playing a hand made guitar, made by Mike Long who she has a endorsement with. She also endorses GHS strings and Blue Chip picks. Gold is a very accomplished songwriter, writing ten of the twelve songs on this CD. One song she wrote, "Heavenly Home," is an a capela three part gospel song that is performed so tightly and with so much emotion. Just three vocals, nothing more, and it sounds great.

These gals are so refreshing, honestly, if they keep making this music of this quality, I don't know how they couldn't be successful. Big Sis, Analise plays some great mandolin and has some terrific singing in the mix too. She does a lot of the emcee duties on the road. Analise is the band organizer and helps with the song arrangements.

Shelby plays a hot fiddle and adds her lead and harmony vocals as well. Andy Hall (Sugar Hill Records) plays Dobro on most of the songs, this was dad, Trent's, idea. Trent played bass on one song called "Miles" and he is their bass player on the road. Alan Bartram (McCoury Music) plays bass for the rest of the songs on the CD. I love the Christianity and encouragement which is in their songs. One of my favorites by Jocelyn Gold is "Amidst Life's Storms", a great song for encouragement. The more that I listen to Jocelyn's lyrics, the more impressed I am with her writing. Another part of the sound on this CD is the great banjo picking by Aaron McDavis (Pinecastle Records).

This type of Bluegrass has a bit more modern sound to it because of the way it is recorded and it has more of a beat to it than traditional bluegrass. However, I think that traditional bluegrassers would love these gals. Rural Rhythm has added a lot of new artists in the last couple of years like Carrie Hassler, Melonie Cannon, plus veteran groups like Mountain Heart and The Lonesome River Boys.

Gold Heart has a lot of talent and a big future ahead if they keep at it. They remind me a bit of the Cherryholmes, whose first CD was real good, but they are older and have a bigger family base. Interestingly enough, both groups have dad on bass. They actually remind me more of early Nickel Creek, who is long gone now. But they were a highly talented act, Sara Watkins just put out her first solo CD this year, singer and fiddler for Nickel Creek.

One Song that Jocelyn did not write, "Sister" by Nora Jane Struthers, is really a song that describes them well, sisters helping each other out, a really nice upbeat tune. A really cute song penned by another writer is "Chasing Lightning Bugs", which is sort of a mid tempo song that reminds me of Tennessee, on summer evenings. What is accomplished by this CD is hard to do, imparting a certain emotion, and their music has lots of aspects, lyrical talent, instrument accomplishment and also emotion. The Gold sisters really leave a sense of joy with you, as they seem to love what they are doing, it is not contrived.

Well, I will quit with one more song that I love, the last song on the CD is "Ride Of Your Life", listen to the words of this song, it just shows the girls love for music and following the path their Savior. I have really enjoyed reviewing this and listening to it and I am not done with it.

A Great Listen!

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