Mark Newton & Steve Thomas – Reborn

CD Review: Mark Newton & Steve Thomas – Reborn

by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International

Old McDonald

The Key

Painted Lady

Blue Railroad Train

Pineywood Hills

Far Far Cry

Are You Missing Me

Country Song

The Girl I Left In Sunny Tennessee

If It Ain’t Love

Kentucky Waltz

Nobody’s Business

 

Pinecastle Records

Genres: Bluegrass, Blues, Country, Americana

 

This album is a debut by two excellent musicians, Mark Newton and Steve Thomas, both from Virginia, supported by Matt Wallace on bass and special guests Ricky Skaggs on clawhammer banjo and Scott Vestal on Banjo.

 

Mark Newton started his bluegrass career in the family at the age of 6, founded his own bands and played with Tony Rice Unit and Bill Emerson, produced several CDs and was nominated for an IBMA Award in 2007.

 

Steve Thomas also began playing in his father’s gospel band at a young age. He won several awards for best fiddler. He played with Jim & Jesse, Osborne Brothers and Brooks and Dunn.

 

On this CD, Mark and Steve share the vocal parts, Mark plays the guitar and Steve plays guitar, fiddle, mandolin and dobro. The pieces are all covers, only track 6 “Far Far Cry” is a composition written and sung by Thomas. The first track “Old McDonald” is based on the nursery rhyme, very fast and it shows an Irish heritage. Track 2 is a nice duet. I would classify track 3 as Newgrass.  In track 4 it gets bluesy “Blue Railroad Train”. In “Pineywood Hills” one remembers the old homeland in a very solemn and acoustic way. Tracks 7 and 8 are very traditional and fast and bluegrassy. “The Girl I Left In Sunny Tennessee” sounds very flattering and has a real old-time feeling. On track 10 the fiddle screams “if there is no love, let it go” Newgrass. “Kentucky Waltz” also very fiddle-heavy. And with the last piece of “Nobody’s Business”, the pace increases to an unbelievable level, a traditional dance piece, a blazing fast banjo and your feet dance by themselves under the table.

 

The CD is a skillful mix of traditional bluegrass, blues, newgrass, Americana and old-time country. It has something for every taste.

 

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