Voices is bluegrass at full strength. From the opener, an inspired reading of Dave Alvin’s folk ballad ‘King of California’ to the closer, the ironically titled ‘Faithfully,’ Volume Five shows its affinity for hard-hitting storytelling songs, while numbers like Amanda’ and ‘Colder and Colder’ resound with bedrock emotional truth. A 21st-century band in the best sense, Volume Five yet remains firmly rooted in tradition, in a fusion of old and new that brings to mind, without imitating, the early Country Gentlemen. Voices fits my definition of a great bluegrass album: one that reminds me why I fell in love with the music all those years ago. If they keep at it at this level, these guys are surely bound for glory.
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