SteelDrivers – Reckless

January 01, 1970

 

(Rounder)

 

www.rounder.com

 

With their eponymous debut, the SteelDrivers
drove home the fact that bluegrass isn’t confined to giddy sentiment and creaky
instrumentals. While other outfits like the Punch Brothers and Crooked Still
have brought an infusion of vitality and youthful reinvention to the genre, the
SteelDrivers still retain old school authenticity in terms of their rugged
resolve and assertive stance.

 

The players carry a combined pedigree that
affirms their agility in that regard, particularly mandolin player Mike
Henderson and fiddler Tammy Rogers, both former members of the Dead Reckoning
enclave. Nevertheless, singer/guitarist Mike Stapleton sets the pace, his
gritty vocals lending urgency to the revelry. This sophomore set holds to that
design, especially on darker offerings like “The Price,” “Down in Mississippi”
and “Good Corn Liquor,” each of which find Stapleton’s voice suddenly leaping
into another register, or forlorn ballads such as “Where Rainbows Never Die,”
which shines in spite of its tattered, tarnished glare.

 

An album of varied hues, Reckless still manages to emphasize the bluer side of their
bluegrass.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Good Corn Liquor,” “Where
Rainbows Never Die” LEE ZIMMERMAN

 

 

 

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