New Found Road
Life in a Song
3 Stars (out of 5)
Life in a Song is the Rounder debut and fourth release from New Found Road – a southwestern Ohio quartet that was originally an exclusively sacred music ensemble. The secular shift serves the band well on this crisp collection of contemporary bluegrass.
New Found Road more than capably covers the bluegrass bases: from the exhilarating kickoff “Cold Blue Day” to the soul stirring gospel a cappella “When I Get Home.” “No Clue” is a driving original instrumental. Its title certainly has nothing to do with the musical prowess of Rob Baker (mandolin), Randy Barnes (bass), Tim Shelton (guitar), and Jr. Williams (banjo).
The surprises start with “Douglas Graves” – a killin’ song with a twist – and proceed to grassed-up versions of the Freddy Fender hit “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and Ray Charles’ “Leave My Woman Alone.” The stunner is the closing cover of David Paich’s “Houston (I’m Coming to See You).”
A couple of country crossovers come off a tad too sentimental alongside Baker’s title track and Shelton’s “I Miss You.” The upshot is simply that songwriting is yet another weapon with potential in the band’s arsenal. The conclusion is Life in a Song should yield New Found Road a new found following.
by Tim Walsh