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CD Review: Chuck Lahr & Purdy River Band – Originals – by Bob Everhart for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

CHUCK LAHR & PURDY RIVER BAND

Originals

Roll On Big River – Sweet Carolina – In My Dreams
– River Queen – Take Me Home To Richmond – Little Mountain Home –
Southern Line – You’re Still The One – 50 Years – Midnight Run


What a pleasant music listening experience,
hearing Chuck Lahr, one of Iowa’s best traditional bluegrassers, singing
and playing some of his original music.  This recording takes me back
to early Bill Monroe recordings in Kentucky. It’s Chuck Lahr’s extremely
sensitive and sincere vocals that turns me on.  He’s also the guitarist
that keeps everything ‘right on the beat.’  Good musicians working with
Chuck too: Frank Bayuk on dobro (from Cedar Rapids) Frank uses his
instrument as a means of sharing deep feeling.  Opens several good
songs.; David Sparks on acoustic bass (from Waterloo). I really like how
the bass is ‘mixed’ in this session.  Just right for the bottom end of
the sound track; Steven Moon on banjo (from Cedar Falls) A super good
banjo not concerned with how fast he can play.; and Rex Gunderson on
fiddle (from Melbourne) I’m going to ‘assume’ (nothing said about who
plays it) Rex also plays a little mandolin on this fine recording.  This
group is defined, not so much with absolute perfection but rather to
maintain the ‘traditional’ bluegrass sound, and add some original songs
to the mix, and listenablilty.  The most important factor of all,
listenability.  What a very nice accomplishment.  I’ve worked with some
of the best bluegrassers there are, Monroe, Stanley, Martin, Jim &
Jesse, you name em’ I probably worked with them somewhere in my
wanderings.  The original traditionalists ‘created’ a very distinct and
incredibly honest and sincere musical genre.  In recent years it appears
to be a musical genre solely concerned with how fast can you pick. 
That ‘original’ musical honesty is very very apparent in this wonderful
recording. I loved the ‘stories’ Chuck Lahr wrote about. “River Queen’ a
good example of ‘telling a good story.’  All of these players have come
from a very successful life-style, and have left all that behind in the
experience of making good music together.  Super.  What I really like
about anything Chuck Lahr does, is his sincerity in the ‘creation’
process.  He’s currently working on another CD for release in the near
future.  Can’t wait to hear it, and hopefully a good number of these
‘original’ songs will be on it.  This musical experience has been a very
entertaining and enjoyable listening one.  Thank you so much Chuck for
your good work, not only as a very creative songwriter in the
traditional vein, but being a good musician that has attracted other
similarly talented musicians.  I love it most of all because it’s right
here in Iowa.  As an old-time train-song lover, I’m afraid Kentucky is
picking so fast they’ve missed the station.  I can best describe this
incredibly satisfying ‘traditional’ bluegrass recording, as I have in
the past….”It’s a smooth easy satisfying style, attractive not only to
bluegrass fans, but to anyone who has never heard bluegrass music
before.” 

MUSIC REVIEW BY Bob Everhart, President National Traditional Country Music Assn.  www.music-savers.com for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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