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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Former library item. Will have library markings and stickers and possibly no inserts. Disc plays perfectly.
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Lucky Drive

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"We live the music we sing about," says Brad Folk, lead singer and songwriter for Open Road. The well-dressed performers of hard-edged, gritty bluegrass music have been touring across North America steadily for more than two years, since the group's first Rounder release, 2002's Cold Wind, created a buzz among traditional music lovers, festival audiences of all ages, and young fans of authentic music performances. Last year's successful ...in the life appeared on the Billboard bluegrass charts and received radio play and critical praise across the roots music world.

In the title cut on Lucky Drive, the band's third release on Rounder, Brad addresses the American ideals of happiness and wealth from an outsider's view, inspired by the band's trips to Los Angeles in the past year. And Brad's "Wanderin' Blues" ponders the heart of a traveler who longs for a conventional home, wrestling with his own restless nature.

No Depression has recognized Brad's "uncanny knack for crafting timeless tunes on timeless subjects." Brad's songs go straight to the soul of listeners, and the band's original instrumentals thrill audiences with an ancient fire.

In addition to originals, Open Road finds little-known bluegrass gems and brings them to the light for today's listeners. "Our knowledge of these songs comes from many late nights in the barn spinning old records because we love 'em," says Brad. "Some songs stick out for us to borrow, but thousands go untouched."

The band took some time off at the end of 2004 to record in Denver, working again with producer Sally Van Meter. "Because a lot of these songs were fairly new to us, and we hadn't been performing them night after night, the CD has a spontaneous feel to it," says mandolinist Caleb Roberts, a South Carolinian who founded Open Road with Brad, originally from Missouri, in 1999.

Open Road was honored to have one of the band's living heroes, Vern Williams, sing with Brad on "I'm Lonesome," a track on Lucky Drive that the band learned from a Larry and Happy Smith recording on the Blueridge label.

Open Road plays bluegrass with a gritty soul that communicates an authentic, real-life emotion that touches audiences. This has a lot to do with Brad's unusual, raw, vocal twang and his stage presence. Some people can't tell if this unpolished approach to bluegrass is for real. Those who grew up with bluegrass and those who have never heard it before sometimes react with equal fascination to Brad's voice. The Missoulian described it this way: "If bluegrass is all about that high-lonesome sound, this guy's camping solo atop Everest. But give him two or three songs, and you may just become convinced that everybody should sing this way.

"There is something oddly quite warm and affecting about his voice, something that makes you know he'd be a fascinating guy to sit around a campfire with, swapping stories. That unpretentious charm pervades the music of Open Road, from the tasty underpinnings provided by bassist Eric Thorin, to the lazy virtuosity of mandolinist Caleb Roberts."

For the past two Rounder projects, Brad and Caleb have been working with bassist Eric Thorin and banjo player Keith Reed, both talented and versatile musicians who share Brad and Caleb's passion for using traditional bluegrass as a language for innovation. Eric, a Colorado native, is a sought-after musician for session work and as a sideman for everything from salsa and jazz to rock and Americana. Keith has a degree from South Plains College, known for its bluegrass program, and a classical music degree. He teaches banjo and classical guitar at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

The five-piece acoustic band from Colorado, named after a style of Stetson hat, performs bluegrass around one microphone; banjo, mandolin and fiddle dance around to play leads, similar to how bluegrass musicians performed decades ago, when country music included its acoustic cousin, bluegrass, sometimes called "hillbilly" music.

Open Road has proved that bluegrass bands don't need to change the language to ignite the excitement of young audiences; neither do they have to feel restrained in order to please the so-called purists. A tide is turning in American music as more young people recognize a hunger for pure music like Open Road's, and older audiences are pleased to see someone carrying on traditional music with reverence, excitement, and originality.

"I think the hard-edged traditional side of this music is to my ears the most exciting and the most thrilling and the most moving," Brad says. Caleb agrees: "There's a lot of power, a lot of feeling in that music that's really inspiring to me, and it's my favorite kind of music."

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Product details

  • Audio CD (May 27, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • Run Time: 40 minutes
  • ASIN: B0009MAOH8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,723 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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on August 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
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on January 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
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