Hello friends! Here is another great review of our new album by legendary music guru, DJ, PA Musician Magazine columnist and friend, Jim "The Professor" Price. Jim Price has been covering the PA music scene for over 30 years and is a respected and trusted name for all that's happening in and around Pennsylvania's vibrant music scene. His reviews are worth their weight in gold so we are honored to have our new CD studied by such an esteemed and cultured professional! Check out what he had to say below!
April 10, 2017
MAMA CORN – LIVE AND LEARN (Bait Shop Music) Altoona-based bluegrassers Mama Corn enter their tenth year as a band by unveiling their third album, Live and Learn. What unfolds through the disc’s dozen tracks is a skilled band that has evolved, lived and learned over their first decade, and developed a strong chemistry that makes each song a superior moment. Mama Corn has lots going for them here – Guitarist Bruce Forr, banjo player Jeremy Nelson, upright bass player Bryan Homan and dobro/harmonica player Johnny Stevens have all blossomed into skilled songsmiths who know how to craft melodies, spin lyrics and weave stories. They also possess quality singing voices to carry their creations, instrumental dexterity and finesse, and a bond as players that enables them to execute tightly like a well-oiled machine. Every song here is relatable and easy to digest; Bruce’s uptempo opener “I Have a Song” shares how music can provide solace and sanity when times are rough. Co-written with bluegrass legend Peter Rowan, Johnny’s “Nobody Died” addresses the tendency toward frequent loss of life in bluegrass song lyrics; for a fresh change of pace, everybody survives this tune. Meanwhile, Bryan realizes that the climb up the corporate ladder isn’t worth the loss of natural surroundings and tranquility on “In the High Rise.” And on the title song “Live and Learn,” Jeremy extols the value of life’s experiences and lessons. Also strong are Johnny’s two collaborations with Nashville’s Doug Forshey, “Big Ol’ Moon” and “Sing!” plus Bruce’s groove-driven “Goodbye Comfort Home,” Bryan’s inquisitive “Black Crow” and Jeremy’s instrumental closer “Playing with Fire,” highlighted by the sharp fiddle skills of guest Greg Moore (of the Hillbilly Gypsies). Mama Corn also does superb work on two covers, Tom Paxton’s “The Last Thing on My Mind” and the Earl Brothers’ “Hard Times Down the Road.” The performances are upbeat and enthusiastic, and the instrumental interaction between all four musicians and their guests shines brightly throughout the album. Produced by the group, and recorded and engineered by Bill Filer at his Audible Images studio in Port Matilda, Live and Learn sounds warm, full and clear. This is Mama Corn’s finest set yet – Live and Learn offers the sound of a seasoned, tight group that knows their musical turf, and has fun playing on it. This presents a joyous listen, and I highly recommend it. (The CD can be obtained through the website www.mamacornbluegrass.com.)
Article found here: http://pamusician.net/wp/2017/04/10/cd-reviews-april-2017/