AD Main Menu

Review: Dirty River Ramblers, "Ramble On"

Art Snob Blog

(From Play Magazine, Aug.23, 2013

Dirty River Ramblers

Ramble On

Listen: “Copper Coil Daydream,” “Carp Skin Boots,” “Equal Parts Pleasure”

A Nebraska-based bluegrass group now touring Alaska (see Hot Picks, Page 4), the Dirty River Ramblers combine expert musicianship with a basic high-energy, on pitch, hillbilly folk sound. Fiddle, banjo, even a baritone ukulele shine in the three instrumentals on this disc. Justin Kephart plays his mandolin with the elegance of a Paganini caprice in the exquisitely thoughtful “Carp Skin Boots.” He also has a few Sons of the Pioneers high notes in “Take It Easy With My Heart,” but the better moonshine-drenched lyrics are found on the happy, if anachronistic, “Hippy Girl,” the weeper “Eliza Mae” and the mysterious “Copper Coil Daydream,” with Mace Hathaway leading the vocals. Josh Krohn also sings the CD’s closer, “Equal Parts Pleasure,” a short waltz elegant in its simplicity and compactness. 

— Mike Dunham

Anchorage Daily News