2014 Honorable Mention Pick 11

The Earls of Leicester: The Earls of Leicester (New Rounder, 2014)

These guys put the country blues in bluegrass.  A soulful singer, excellent banjo playing and a tight band.  Instrumentation is banjo, acoustic guitar, fiddle, upright bass, and washboard and while everybody gets some space to solo the banjo player is the star of the show here.

Songs are good, all tunes written by Flatts and Scruggs (as the record is a tribute to those two), the vocal harmonies are there but a bit understated, more of a player’s album than a singer’s album by just a little bit.  The lead singer does, however, really do a good job of fronting the band.  A great job in fact.

As one blurb about the record says this is a tribute that’s aimed at younger listeners who don’t have a deep knowledge of bluegrass and its history.




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