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The Chill of Lonesome

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Album Review

With a voice ready for contemporary country radio, Ernie Thacker keeps one foot in the traditions of bluegrass with one pointed toward concessions to more modern country sounds. As such, The Chill of Lonesome is bound to appeal to those not quite ready for the full-blown high-lonesome sound, but its lack of edginess will probably scare off those who value breakneck virtuosity and dogmatic traditionalism. That's not to say that the album suffers from a lack of musicianship, as bluegrass standouts like Dan Tyminski and Rob Ickes lend their voices and talents in the creation of smoothly shuffling bluegrass-lite variations on the themes of family, faith, and home. To be sure, at this stage Thacker still seems to be finding his stylistic footing as a solo artist, with the 11 cuts here all being covers and his arrangements coming off as rather indistinctive. All in all, though, even if he occasionally sounds like Garth Brooks doing a bluegrass album, Thacker has the voice, talent, and friends to ensure that he probably won't ever release anything downright unpleasant.


Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Hailing from Northern Ohio, Ernie Thacker was raised on the essentials of bluegrass music. Steeped in the work of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, and Jimmy Martin, Thacker took classical violin lessons as a child but quickly fell under the tutelage of an uncle who played in a bluegrass band. Breezing through studies in fiddle, mandolin, and guitar, he soon began to gain renown in the surrounding towns. By chance, Thacker ended up moving to live with his grandparents and attending the same church as his...
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The Chill of Lonesome, Ernie Thacker
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