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Jump In the Get Down

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Album Review

On their fourth album, Colorado-based progressive bluegrass outfit Oakhurst largely abandon the alt-country side of their sound that flourished on previous efforts like Dual Mono and Greenhorn. Even outlaw country-influenced rockers like "Soon as the Sun" and "Run Run" and the weepy trucker story "Jim and Nan" are built on the fluid mandolin and banjo lines and speedy tempos of traditional bluegrass as much as the rock & roll stomp of the rhythm section. It's not a coincidence that the album's one song with the least bluegrass influence, the quite ordinary jam band ballad "Crazy," is by some distance Jump in the Get Down's weakest track. The expansive seven-minute epic "Heartstring" is a far more effective blend of singer/songwriter-style rock form and bluegrass style. But the album's heart is in the handful of good old-fashioned bluegrass instrumentals, which are rooted in tradition but played with freshness and vitality that keep them from sounding like museum pieces. Oakhurst's strongest album so far, Jump in the Get Down is a solid piece of tradition-minded bluegrass tempered with just enough of a rock edge to appeal to alt-country and jam band enthusiasts with little patience with or knowledge of the real thing. Think of it as a gateway into the likes of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder.

Jump In the Get Down, Oakhurst
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