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Too Late to Turn Back Now

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Album Review

With a reputation as a crack live unit, it's perhaps surprising that the New Grass Revival only released two official concert albums (and on one of those they shared the bill with Leon Russell). Recorded at progressive bluegrass stronghold Telluride, CO, Too Late to Turn Back Now followed two fine mid-'70s studio efforts, Fly Through the Country and When the Storm Is Over. The set kicks off with an energetic take on "Lonesome and a Long Way From Home," a song that shows off the group's splendid harmony. There's a long instrumental intro to the album's highlight, "With Care From Someone," an eight-minute extravaganza of wild vocals and lively solos. John Cowan offers his characteristic rock & roll take on "Watermelon Man" before tackling Fly Through the Country's ten-minute title track. While versions of both tunes are vigorous enough, the first is a bit rough around the edges while the second is way, way too long. Perhaps concertgoers "got into it," but at home, Sam Bush's slide mandolin sounds like an out-of-tune dobro. The seventh and final cut, "Red Man Blues," gives the band a chance to kick out the jams on an extended instrumental. Bush offers some strong, progressive fiddle work, and sounds as though he's ready to do a duet with Jean-Luc Ponty, while Curtis Burch turns in a bit of fancy flatpicking. Alas, though the results are pretty good, Too Late to Turn Back Now is over in a short time. Fans of the New Grass Revival's '70s lineup, however, will definitely want to add this live recording to their collections. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Too Late to Turn Back Now

This is a must have for any newgrass fan or bluegrass fan. Next to Old & In the Way hands down one of the best.


I agree! This is a must have!!!

Mr Lankford doesn

WHile its a shame that the band of Cowan, Bush, Johnson and Burch has not gotten more notice as one of the real creators that they were, in some ways its their blending of bluegrass and other forms that put them where no radio station could fit them. Its also a shame that the member couldn't have found a way to stay together, as the later version, while skilled musicians, never had the ability to keep the Grass in the revival.

This is a very very good album, the reviewer sites the shortness, but that was a fact of vinyl, 28 minutes a side was all you got, and if the songs didn't break down that way you got less.

I saw them in 1976 in Winfield Ks, and they blew the place away. From then on, it was all I could do to get my friends to travel with me to see them and just accept, "listen to them, they rock, really, banjo and fiddle rock". Remember, 1976 was the death of Rock and Roll in process. The music that was being foisted on us was wretched, disco was in full stride and hearing people plucking strings and singing songs instead of mind numbing rubbish was an awakening.

IF you do nothing else, try "fly thru the country" and listen to that man sing.


Formed: 1972 in Kentucky

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s

New Grass Revival, formed in 1972 by four former members of the Bluegrass Alliance, flourished in a decade when numerous groups took traditional bluegrass and changed it to varying degrees. The group was successful enough to have the group's name become a generic label: "newgrass." The band's image, with long hair and occasionally electrified instruments, as well as its musical material contrasted greatly with standard (traditional) bluegrass like that played by Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, the Lilly...
Full Bio
Too Late to Turn Back Now, New Grass Revival
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