Way Up on a Mountain
I love bluegrass music, but it is hard to find good new bluegrass bands. Since Nickel Creek went on indefinite hiatus, the genre has been seriously lacking for new talent. In steps Spring Creek. This quartet has exploded on the scene, becoming the only band to win competitions at Telluride Bluegrass Festival and RockyGrass Festivals in the same year. Their Rebel Records debut Way Up on a Mountain encapsulates their energy and raw talent and showcases each member’s individual talents.
Like every great bluegrass band, they know how to burn the place with tempo-infused firestorms like “Try and Catch the Wind,” with bassist/vocalist Jessica Smith’s Dolly Parton-infused voice leading the charge, and the opener “My Love is Way Up on the Mountain” with guitarist/vocalist Taylor Sims taking the front-and-center.
They also know how to slow it down and they do that best on “Lonesome Town” with banjo player/vocalist Chris Elliott (not the crappy actor) taking the lead. What makes the song (and album) so good is the harmonies. Smith and guitarist/vocalist Taylor Sims’ voices wrap around Elliott’s so well that it makes what could’ve been a fairly generic tune one of the best on the album.
Their mid-tempo fare is also brilliant with the highlight being the finale, “‘Til You Come Back to Me,” which sounds like something that Alison Krauss and Union Station would’ve written.
The instrumental “Cuba Vera Swing” is the perfect sample of how talented these four are as each member takes a turn in what is essentially a three-minute solo roundtable – each takes four measures and then passes the solo on to the next member.
Way Up on the Mountain is bluegrass at its finest. Spring Creek is hopefully just the beginning of a new breed of bluegrass revivalists as the genre could really use it. It will be tough, however, to do better than Spring Creek has done with this album. Any bluegrass enthusiast must check this album out.
Spring Creek: http://www.springcreekbluegrassband.com