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Talented Colorado-based quartet Head For The Hills are Adam Kinghorn, guitar, vocals; Joe Lessard, violin, vocals; Matt Loewen, bass, vocals, and Sam Parks on mandolin, vocals and violin (“Kings And Cowards”) are a compact and interesting unit.
Drawing on bluegrass, folk and the occasional hint of jazz they offer a superb innovative flair; old fans of New Grass Revival and, possibly those keen on the general era that brought us Tony Rice (and a feast more acts) will enjoy what they are trying to do. I particularly enjoy the mandolin and flat-picked guitar and instrumental prowess that is truly first class. Of the vocals, there is a number of songs where there is a promise of more to come as in “Give Me A Reason”. While I detect a hint or two of Cahalen Morrison & Eli West on “Portions And Poisons”, and of a neat jaunty feel mandolin warmed “Waiting On You” likewise offers much.
Admittedly, some songs sound like they need a little more work; and in some cases more instrumental verve. Something they no doubt have, only its not utilised fully. Although two of my favourites are instrumentals. The wonderful flowing “Bucker” is something I could imagine Bill Monroe and Kenny Baker digging, and cooking up a storm playing it. It is a beautifully constructed piece of work. The playing here is master class as dynamic fiddle; mandolin, bass and sublime acoustic guitar take off! “Floodwaters” with more dazzling fiddle and rhythmic support is another gem, it is one of those tracks where the replay button enjoys much attention.
Another song of note, “Suit And Tie” enjoys a roving, experimental feel as they speak of better times ahead. Talking of which, Head For The Hills look set to enjoy the fruit of their labour. It would be good to see them live this side of the pond, as we no doubt will in the not too distant future.
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