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Album Review

Ron Block is best known to bluegrass lovers as the banjo player with Union Station, Alison Krauss' backing band. But he's also an excellent singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and on his second solo album he expands his stylistic parameters to very winning effect. DoorWay is a gospel album, but with a difference: instead of the relatively uncomplicated songs of praise and spiritual victory that typify both the bluegrass and Southern gospel genres, Block chronicles actual struggles of faith and faithfulness on this album. The varied moods of that struggle are reflected in his arrangements, which veer from swinging midtempo bluegrass on "Along the Way" and "Be Assured" to the darker, moodier sound of "Flame" and "Love's Living Through Me When I Do" — an almost rockish song that features drums, electric piano, and effects-laden electric guitar. Clearly, this is not an album for rock-ribbed bluegrass purists (though few would expect it to be, given the stylistic departures of his recent recordings with Krauss). And because Block deals here with issues of doubt and temptation rather than simply celebrating spiritual certainty, it also may be one that gives pause to some members of the gospel music audience. But it's hard to imagine that anyone with a relatively open mind in musical terms and an appreciation for the real challenges and conflicts inherent in the process of choosing a life of faith will be able to listen to DoorWay and remain unmoved. Very highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

Great Record!

I purchased this when it was first released and since then have purchased it for some friends the old-fashioned way...and gave it as a gift.

The songs are powerful and moving and I listen to it regularly with my family.

This record is beautifully produced and has the musicians that really make this a record that you will enjoy for years like I have.

From the liner notes:
"God requires us to trust His promises and step out in faith on what looks like thin air. What seems sane and safe is often destructive; what appears certain death to our hopes and dreams can be the door that leads to newness of life."




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
DoorWay, Ron Block
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Customer Ratings