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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. 

          Maurice Hope     

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April 2018

Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
Sam Morrow
29 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
Dean Owens
22 pts.
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At The Helm
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
Haley Heynderickx
21 pts.
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Mama Bird Recordings
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
21 pts.
Tearing At The Seams
Stax Records
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
Fix Your Words
Train Wreck Records
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
Looking For Horses
Caramal Productions
Sheesham & Lotus & 'Son
20 pts.
Clear The Table
SepiaPhone Records
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans

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