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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sawtooth Brothers

One More Flight

Review by Gary Hill

It would be pretty simple to just label this “bluegrass music.” The bulk of the disc fits nicely into that category. There are other things going on here, though. In fact, this has some big helpings of pop music and alternative rock. Yes, it’s all tempered with bluegrass instrumentation, but there are definitely more modern things at play here at times. However you label this, though, it’s a particularly effective disc. It never feels redundant or stale. It’s just a solid release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Another Cliché

Right out the gate it’s obvious that this is something unusual. This has a real pop rock vibe, but the instrumentation and arrangement land it in the bluegrass vein. Imagine a bluegrass band doing alternative pop and you’ll be in the right room for this. The instrumental section brings it into full bluegrass territory.

Country Road X
Now, this one is in full on bluegrass mode. It’s got some killer instrumental work. It also has a great down-home texture. This is fun stuff.
What's Her Name?
Here we have another tune that’s fairly purely set in bluegrass sounds. That said, I’d be surprised if a lot of listeners don’t hear hints of Green Day’s ballads on the cut.
On Top of the World
This is more rocking. Sure, the instrumentation is still acoustic bluegrass based. The thing is,  if you can imagine this done with electric instruments, you’d hear something that’s very much like a lot of the hard rocking country of the modern day. The slow moving section, though, is more like a mix of old school folk music and bluegrass.
Summer All the Time
Landing more like the opening cut, this is a fun one. It’s very much alternative pop build on a bluegrass foundation.
Blame it
Here they bring things into more pure bluegrass territory. I love the violin (or is it fiddle?) on this cut. The vocals do have some hints of alternative rock, though. This is actually one of the real highlights of the set.
Don't Go it Alone
This is dramatic bluegrass music. It has a lot of energy at times. The drop back mid-track, though, has a dreamy quality. It almost lands in prog rock vicinity. This is another highlight.
The River and You
Another very classy, tune, this is much more old school roots music based. It’s too energized to be considered a real ballad, but it’s not a rocker, either. It’s a sentimental tune for sure.
I Should Be Going
Mellow bluegrass stuff is on the agenda here. This one is a ballad. It’s quite pretty, too.
One More Flight
The title track really is one of the best songs here. It’s clearly one of the most dynamic. It’s packed with great instrumental work. It has a lot of feeling built into it for sure.
Take Me Away
There is no big change on the closer. Instead, this is more classy bluegrass music. Again the violin really shines here, but everything works well.
 
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