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Faraway Land

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Album Review

With readings of texts as diverse as The Matrix and Les Miserables, bluegrass musician Ron Block sets out to find the gospel in the modern world. His mournfully sweet voice is filled with assurance as he sings atop an all-star ensemble featuring himself, fiddler/vocalist sensation Alison Krauss, Dobro player Jerry Douglas, fiddler Stuart Duncan, and many others. The sound is a predictably traditional, non-experimental acoustic one, warmly produced and straight-ahead. Though the music is immaculately performed, there is still something missing. While there is passion, there is little energy. While there is happiness, there is little humor. Some of the lyrics will likely be harder for secular listeners to enjoy without feeling preached at. As such, the lilting instrumental "In Memory of Steve" might be the highlight for many. Also of note are Alison Krauss' stunning vocal contributions on "Your Heart Has Found a Home."

Customer Reviews


Every song on this record is a masterpiece.

Stunning and Spiritual

After listening to the entirety of "Faraway Land", Ron Block's first major solo release, I can easily understand why his official mini-bio for Alison Krauss and Union Station calls him the "spiritual touchstone" of the group. Every song on this album carries weight and meaning - none should be overlooked. The all-star list of musicians who contributed to this album only highlights Ron Block's standing among today's best bluegrass musicians. All in all, "Faraway Land" is an emotional, beautiful recording in all senses. This work is definitely worth a listen... or five.

Stairway to Heaven.....Bluegrass style

Every song on this album is a Block original, and they are gems - a true testimony to Ron Block's faith as a Christian believer. The instrumental solo "In Memory of Steve" touches the heart of those who listen to it, as it is as much spiritual as it is musical. One can only hope that Ron produces another recording like this one before the decade is done. Buy it and you won't be disappointed.


Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Banjo player Ron Block devoted more than a dozen years to Alison Krauss & Union Station and other groups before branching out to record Faraway Land, a solo album of gospel music that was released by Rounder Records in 2001. He previously spent about four years during the late '80s with the group Weary Hearts, of which he was a founding member, and a bit of time early the following decade with the Lynn Morris Band. With Alison Krauss & Union Station since 1991, when he stepped in to take over for...
Full Bio
Faraway Land, Ron Block
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Customer Ratings