February 14 at 9:27pm · Ivor, VA ·
My review of the new Mama Corn bluegrass band album, going up on www.jesseburdick.com tomorrow:
"The boys from Pennsylvania have done it again: boasting a great lineup of slick originals and covers of the modern bluegrass sound, Mama Corn's "Live and Learn" swings for the fences and delivers a grand slam. With thoughtful writing (a la Darrell Scott/Tim O'brien/Steve Earle) and innovative chord structures (that really shine on Bruce Forr's I Have a Song and Bryan Homan's In the High Rise), it is no wonder that these guys are such a tight group.
Forr and Homan are not the only bright stars when it comes to writing, though. Jeremy Nelson's Live and Learn carries with it that same thoughtfulness with an added country charm, and Johnny Stevens Sing! is just plain fun. These boys know how to write a tune and spin a tale. They also know how to pay tribute to the greats, especially on Peter Rowan's Nobody Died and Robert Earl Davis' Hard Times Down The Road.
The musicianship of the players themselves is a force to be reckoned with. Nelson's rock solid banjo playing carries with it the inherent reminiscence of JD Crowe and Danny Barnes. Bruce's mashy rythym guitar and lead is the perfect tag to Bryan Homan's spot on upright work. Of course, the intense and intricate styling of Stevens' dobro needs to be mentioned to truly capture such a fine recording's selling points: Johnny is working hard on this one, and the listener feels it. With special guest Greg Moore on some soaring fiddle, this album is one of the most well-rounded bluegrass offerings in recent memory.
In summation: if you are a fan of bluegrass recorded to the highest standard of writing and performance, then Mama Corn's Live and Learn is the album you need to be listening to right now."