Thursday, May 7, 2015

Album Review: Todd Grebe and Cold Country - Citzen

I followed Bearfoot many years ago and then lost track of the band after a few member changes. Last week, however, Hearth PR provided a recollection of the bluegrass band by sending me the newest release from Todd Grebe and Cold Country, titled Citizen. It appears that Grebe joined the band in their final years, then married longtime member, Angela Oudean, and returned to Alaska to form the new band.  They also left their bluegrass sound in Nashville for this album is all honky-tonk country and Americana and its a good one. (Although I should note that they returned to Nashville to record this album at The Butcher Shoppe studio with Grammy-award winning recording engineer David Ferguson). The musicianship is excellent with Oudean, harmonies and of course fiddle, Nate May (telecaster), Larry Atamanuik (drums), Mike Bub (bass) with special  guests Steve Hinson (pedal steel), renowned Nashville session pianist Jimmy Wallace (piano) and Bearfoot alumni Megan McCormick (guitar). But it's Grebe's dusty vocals and songwriting that makes this release unique. Some of the lyrics have a John Prine quality with one of my favorites on the title track: "freedom isn't free; but I'm pretty sure it ain't costing for me". Other favorite tracks are Luckiest Man Here On Earth, Ain't That Fine, and You'll Never Find Me. Pair with one of my favorite beers, the Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Company. Cheers.

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