Sweet Carolina


Sweet Carolina – Midnight Run – Southern Line – Lonely Moon – Banjo Signal
Chuck Lahr is the mover, shaker, and extremely good lead
vocalist, behind this very very good soft bluegrass band.  Most
bluegrass bands today seem to struggle to see who’s the fastest, who’s
the loudest, who’s the most aggressive with the music.  This is not the
case with the Purdy River Band.  This band plays bluegrass (and writes
it with the pen of Chuck) in a much more satisfying style, attractive
not only to a bluegrass aficionado like myself, but to anyone who has
never heard bluegrass before.  I call this very tight, very good group,
pioneers in the upper Midwest, since that is where they presently make
their home.  This CD is actually a demo for me to see how they sound, so
because it is so very well done, recording wise, I take a great deal of
pride in reviewing it to the general audience.  The mix is super well
done.  The overall production is also super well done.  The lead
instruments glide in and out of their leads exactly as the old
bluegrassers did it.  The harmony singing is also well balanced with an
almost scintillating attraction toward how the voices blend with each
other, a little different than loud outbursts of harmony we sometimes
hear among bluegrass bands.  Good original songs are a necessity to good
bluegrass, and Chuck Lahr has done a most excellent job presenting his
originals here, each and every one of them super good. Bluegrass is not
bluegrass without a banjo, and Dave Anderson is that instrument player. 
I’ve also learned that he operates the recording studio where the band
cut this outstanding demo.  Jon Anderson, Dave’s brother, plays
mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and dobro, all equally well, and shines as an
incredibly proficient instrumentalist.  Beth Anderson (Dave’s wife) is
the upright bass player.  Again I really like the very nice way the
bass stays right behind the instruments, keeping them tight on the
rhythm, beat, and bottom lines.  The Andersons are mostly from
Minnesota, but apparently close enough to Chuck Lahr’s home in Iowa, to
create a super good bluegrass band.  This is only a demo, but it is
going to the Rural Roots Music Commission for bluegrass placement on CD
of the Year, 2015.  My best advice to the Andersons and Chuck, keep your
calendar open for next year.  I know it’s early to do that, but I’m
pretty good at picking the minds of those who sit on the commission. 
Good luck Purdy River wherever you go.
REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART – WWW.NTCMA.NET for Country Music News International Magazine

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