Monday, February 05, 2007

A taste of bluegrass heaven

Every once in a while I get to enter into “bluegrass heaven” and, boy, was I there Saturday night. During the winter months, my husband and I search out indoor bluegrass shows to hold us over until festival season arrives. Last Saturday night we went to see an upcoming band, Roscoe Morgan & Lonely Train, at The Back Hills Café, an intimate, artsy, down-home venue in Maryville, Tennessee, that holds about 60 people.

When we walked in the first thing we noticed was the delicious smell of home-cooked food. I guess it’s my Appalachian heritage, but I firmly believe good food goes with every occasion. But as good as the food was, the music was even better. Roscoe Morgan & Lonely Train is a local band made up of: Roscoe Morgan (tenor and lead vocals, mandolin and fiddle), Ronnie Raper (lead and tenor vocals, guitar), Johnny Siler (baritone vocals, banjo) and Brian Davis (bass vocals, electric bass). The band hit the stage with a high energy that never let up. Lonely Train does not fit into any typical bluegrass category and we were delighted with the different styles they played--traditional, contemporary, even some grassed up Phil Collins.

A couple of my favorites? One was a hard driving “Head Over Hills (In Love With You).” Although this song has been played and recorded many times, these boys gave it a brand new sound. Another favorite was a new song written by Roscoe “Hucky" Branham. I won’t spoil it for you, but be prepared for a great ending. If you get a chance to see this band, do it. Lonely Train will be a band to watch in bluegrass for 2007. --DJ Dunlap

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