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Follow Me Back To The Fold

Mark Newton

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Album Review

Bluegrass guitarist Mark Newton undertook quite a project when he assembled his 2000 album Follow Me Back to the Fold by calling together some of the most talented women in bluegrass and showcasing many of their compositions on a single CD. Festival stalwarts Rhonda Vincent, Lynn Morris, and the Whites anchor some of the lesser-known newcomers like Valerie Smith and Sally Jones, making for an interesting blend of familiar and new voices. Newton assembled a top-notch band, including Tony Rice, Alan Bibey, Ronnie Stewart, Fred Travers, and (naturally) two female instrumentalists, Missy Raines on bass and Kristin Scott playing banjo. These seasoned studio and touring musicians lay down a clean backdrop for the guest vocalists to work over top of, each adding subtle nuances and their own personal style to their respective tracks. The gentle "A Child Again" is a quiet duet featuring warm and intimate vocals from Cathy Chiavola, while Lynn Morris' "Never Looking Back" rips and rolls along on a more boisterous path. The album ends with an ensemble piece paying tribute to Mother Maybelle Carter, and features all of the performers on the project taking turns inviting their sisters in bluegrass to follow them in embracing the long-neglected involvement of women in bluegrass music.

Biography

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Bluegrass guitarist and mandolin player Mark Newton came from a musical family: his father played mandolin, guitar, and fiddle and his mother was an accomplished pianist. Newton took the stage with his father at the age of 14, leading to his involvement in many groups in the '70s and early '80s, including Cabin Hill, the Knoxville Grass, and the regionally successful Heights of Grass. In the mid-'80s, he joined the pioneering contemporary bluegrass band the Virginia Squires featuring future headliners...
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Follow Me Back To The Fold, Mark Newton
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