Lucky Drive

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
You don't have to wait long for the action to heat up on Open Road's third Rounder album, Lucky Drive. Brad Lee Folk's puzzlement at the lifestyles of the rich, "Lucky Drive," sprints out of the gate powered by Folk's twangy vocal set against a rousing backdrop of banjo, fiddle, and mandolin; then the whole affair goes airborne in the chorus when Eric Thorn gets to slappin' the doghouse bass at a furious pace. From this exhilarating kickoff, the album gets deep into the heart of the matter, blending a reverence for the ancient tones of bluegrass with a contemporary rhythmic and percussive sensibility -- achieving what the liner notes describe as music that is "old and ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
You don't have to wait long for the action to heat up on Open Road's third Rounder album, Lucky Drive. Brad Lee Folk's puzzlement at the lifestyles of the rich, "Lucky Drive," sprints out of the gate powered by Folk's twangy vocal set against a rousing backdrop of banjo, fiddle, and mandolin; then the whole affair goes airborne in the chorus when Eric Thorn gets to slappin' the doghouse bass at a furious pace. From this exhilarating kickoff, the album gets deep into the heart of the matter, blending a reverence for the ancient tones of bluegrass with a contemporary rhythmic and percussive sensibility -- achieving what the liner notes describe as music that is "old and new at the same time." Folk adds another sterling original tune to the mix later on with his languorous country blues "Wanderin' Blues," a musician's weary testimony about the privations of the road and the havoc the constant travel can wreak on the homestead, his plainspoken voice mirroring that of the beleaguered road warrior as the band sets the mood with steady rolling instrumental support. Another paean to the travelin' man, Charlie Monroe's "Rollin' On," celebrates wanderlust with a spirited dialogue between the acoustic guitar and the mandolin, and a fiery little passage of instrumental dueling between the banjo and the fiddle, as Folk and Open Road co-founder Caleb Roberts trade personable lead vocal parts. On the tender side of things, a classic early western swing arrangement of Ernest Tubb's "If I Never Have Anything Else" frames a sweet, affecting lyric of devotion to a loved one, with a lone, evocative, keening fiddle lending a poignant tone to the proceedings. Rich and deep, Lucky Drive is a fine calling card for one of bluegrass music's great young hopes.
All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
When one hears that a new band is "the most dynamic young band in bluegrass today," it's easy to be suspicious. No band, no matter how good, is the "most dynamic," and such a statement doesn't really tell you much about what kind of bluegrass the band plays. Open Road is a vibrant group that mostly plays homage to traditional bluegrass, and Lucky Drive does a good job displaying its vocal and instrumental skill. Lead singer Bradford Lee Folk is the real deal, with a country vocal style founded deep in bluegrass' past. His style works best on high-flying numbers like the title track, allowing him plenty of room to stretch and bend the lyrics into something Lester Flatt would've been proud of. Of course it helps that he's backed up by a spunky band, with mandolinist Caleb Roberts, banjoist Keith Reed, bassist Eric Thorin, and fiddler Paul Lee. While there are solo highlights on each number, the real fireworks show up on instrumental pieces like "Shotgun" and "Little Rabbit." The band lends nice, old-time harmony on most of the choruses, kicking each song into high gear. There is a nice guest appearance on "I'm Lonesome" by Vern Williams, whose tenor vocals work especially well with Folk's lead. There are also a number of ballads on Lucky Drive, giving the banjo and mandolin strings a chance to cool off between songs. Traditional bluegrass fans will greet Open Road with open ears.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/28/2005
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661056220
  • Catalog Number: 610562

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Lucky Drive (2:06)
  2. 2 It's Blowing Away (3:51)
  3. 3 Take My Hand and Tell Me (3:02)
  4. 4 Shotgun (3:03)
  5. 5 Wanderin' Blues (3:19)
  6. 6 Roustabout (3:35)
  7. 7 Rollin' On (2:20)
  8. 8 If I Never Have Anything Else (3:14)
  9. 9 I'm Lonesome (2:36)
  10. 10 Tater Patch (2:20)
  11. 11 Little Rabbit (2:44)
  12. 12 After Dark (3:09)
  13. 13 Mule Train (3:37)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Open Road Primary Artist
Vern Williams Tenor (Vocal), Guest Appearance
Sally Van Meter Vocal Harmony, Guest Appearance
Eric Thorin Bass, Vocals, Group Member
Paul Pai-Shih Lee Fiddle, Vocals, Group Member
Bradford Lee Folk Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Keith Reed Banjo, Vocals, Group Member
Technical Credits
Kitty Wells Composer
Ernest Tubb Composer
Bill Grant Composer
Charlie Monroe Composer
Delia Bell Composer
Buck Graves Composer
Hy Heath Composer
Kitsy Kuykendall Liner Notes, Author
M. Lewis Composer
Sally Van Meter Producer, Song Notes
Toby Mountain Mastering
Larry Richardson Composer
Bob Shumaker Engineer
Steven Jurgensmeyer Art Direction
Jake Lambert Composer
Traditional Composer
Open Road Song Notes
Mario Casilio Engineer
Johnny Lange Composer
Mike Cogan Engineer
Bradford Lee Folk Composer
Keith Reed Composer
Eric Squire Management
Betty Skinner Composer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mighty powerful bluegrass medicine

    Playing Time- 38:56 -- Folks at Rounder Records have a knack for finding bluegrass bands that can, as Kitsy Kuykendall’s liner notes say, “cook up a sound for today that is new but old at the same time.” That’s why they signed Open Road in 2002, after hearing their first album produced in 2000 by Sally Van Meter. Meeting in the mid-1990s at jam sessions in Fort Collins, Co., the members of Open Road decided to form a “young traditionalist” band in 1998 and set their sights on preserving a bluegrass sound of yesteryear. These purveyors of the traditional style of bluegrass know how to offer just the right type and amount of musical interaction to emphasize an inspired and spirited bluegrass sound that could be five decades distant. Some of their covered songs from the likes of Charlie Monroe, Buck Graves/Jake Lambert, Bill Grant/Delia Bell, and Kitty Wells can be traced back to a classic era in the bluegrass and country genres. However, on this CD, their third on Rounder, Open Road isn’t shy either about including some new originals, such as guitarist Bradford Lee Folk’s title track and “Wanderin’ Blues.” Did you know that Folk is a “real” cowboy? Banjo-player Keith Reed penned the high-stepping instrumental “Shotgun,” a little ditty that incorporates plenty of string bends and even some Scruggs tuner action. Original Open Road banjo-player Jim Rummels has apparently moved on to other endeavors. The rest of the band includes Caleb Roberts (mandolin), Eric Thorin (bass), and Paul Lee (fiddle). All five band members sing, although lead vocals are predominantly sung by Folk whose vocalizing has a rustic purity at the heart of bluegrass. Roberts doesn’t have the best of singing voices, but his rendition of “After Dark” is delivered with earnest effort. Vern Williams makes a cameo appearance, singing with Folk on “I'm Lonesome,” a song learned from a Larry and Happy Smith recording. And what would a set like this be with a novelty tune like “Tater Patch” with its cute hook…or an upbeat traditional fiddle tune like “Little Rabbit.” Dressing the part, these showmen also understand the need to entertain. Besides their suits, the guys wear Stetson hats, perhaps some are even of the “open road” style. Produced by Sally Van Meter, “Lucky Drive” has a spontaneous feel to it because many of the songs had not been overplayed and their thrills worn down by the band before they set out to record them. Folk claims to “live the music we sing about,” and this fact may allow them to deliver the gritty goods with plenty of personality and credibility. This album is one for all who enjoy a visceral brand of bluegrass. Open Road strives for music that is both explosive and emotional, and they successfully impart a traditional stamp on a mix of classic and contemporary material. It makes for mighty powerful bluegrass medicine. (Joe Ross)

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