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HEAD FOR THE HILLS —POTIONS AND POISONS (Self-Released)

www.headforthehillsmusic.com

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

1
Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
PK,CVL,DHO,JB,LK
2
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
3
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
TJ,TK,MP
4
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
DD,GS,FS,HM
5
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
 
6
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
7
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental
AN
8
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
 
9
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
MF,HDB
 
Sam Morrow
29 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
JV
11
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
JSM,JD
12
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
CRS
13
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
SP
14
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
 
15
Dean Owens
22 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
PJ
16
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
FCE,JS
 
Haley Heynderickx
21 pts.
I Need To Start A Garden
Mama Bird Recordings
 
 
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
21 pts.
Tearing At The Seams
Stax Records
RM
19
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
MVP,RK
 
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
BM
 
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
 
 
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
Fix Your Words
Train Wreck Records
LM
 
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
Looking For Horses
Caramal Productions
GC,EZ
 
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20 pts.
Clear The Table
SepiaPhone Records
SZ,PG
25
3hattrio
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
 
 
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Make Way for Love
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