Lucky Drive

Lucky Drive

by Open Road
     
 
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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2005
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661056220

Related Subjects

Tracks

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
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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