Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Carolina Still Album Review From Kinston

"Carolina Still’s new album “The Color of Rust” is an impressive blend of bluegrass/country music delivered with the zest of rockabilly and punk. The album’s tight playing and fresh production make the Avett Brothers sound like a funeral band.

With an acoustic guitar/fiddle/banjo sound that’s tough to pigeonhole, Carolina Still exudes a joyous charm. There is nothing corn pone about the songs on “The Color of Rust,” but the songs do celebrate southern virtues that have stood the test of time.

The title track chronicles the way time has a way of steamrolling rural life, but the lyrics are defiant. To an outsider, “Hog Killin’ Time” may seem a bit harsh, but it’s a song about cold weather and bacon. Blake Shelton is probably too busy hanging out with Christina Aquavelva to record a song about breakfast meats, but thank goodness Carolina Still did it.

“The Color of Rust” is steeped in southern vibes and tones, but drummer Billy Smith drives the band as if he’s trying out for the Foo Fighters or Green Day. Bluegrass purists tend to go berserk any time a fiddle and/or a banjo is in the same building with a drummer, but this is a combination that works brilliantly for Carolina Still.

Shoot … bluegrass overlord Bill Monroe would have probably had a drummer if they could have fit the kit in the trunk of a Lincoln.

As for the string benders in Carolina Still — J. Alan Casey, Adam Jones and Robert Norman — there’s not a holder* in the bunch. These guys are pickers of the highest order, and their lead/harmony vocals turn “In the Barn” and “Six Strings and You” into massive sing-a-longs.

“The Color of Rust” is the perfect album for the bluegrass/country music lover who is tired of being sold pop music with a cowboy hat on top. Hopefully Carolina Still with have a nice long run, because there aren't many groups left who can sing and play at this level.

*A “holder” is someone who stands on stage holding an instrument as a prop. A “picker” is someone who knows how to actually play the instrument. (copyright Bryant Dawson, 1980)"

Link to original review

Carolina Still - The Color of Rust - Album Cover Process Illustration from Rusty Knuckles on Vimeo.

Review of Carolina Still's album, The Color Of Rust